Word of the DayMonday, December 10, 2001
\aw-TOK-thuh-nuhs\ , adjective;
Aboriginal; indigenous; native.
Formed or originating in the place where found.
For cultures are not monoliths. They are fragmentary, patchworks of autochthonous and foreign elements.
-- Anthony Pagden, "Culture Wars", The New Republic, November 16, 1998
I thought of the present-day Arcadians, autochthonous, sprung from the very earth on which they live, who with every draught from a stream drink up millennia of history and legend.
-- Zachary Taylor, "Hot Land, Cold Water", The Atlantic, June 17, 1998
Autochthonous derives from Greek autochthon, "of or from the earth or land itself," from auto-, "self" + chthon, "earth." One that is autochthonous is an autochthon.
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