Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday June 2, 2004
autochthonous \aw-TOK-thuh-nuhs\ , adjective:
1. Aboriginal; indigenous; native.
2. 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.