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Definition of Native American noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

Native American

native american pronunciation American
(also American Indian)
a member of any of the races of people who were the original people living in America
Native American adjectiveNative American languages
Usage notesMore About: Native American First NationsIn the U.S., Native American is the term most widely used and generally accepted to describe a member of one of the races of people who lived in America before Europeans arrived in 1492. The term American Indian is also often used, although some people find it offensive. The word Indian by itself should only be used to describe a person from India. To refer to an individual person you can also say which Native American people they belong to: He’s an Apache/a Cherokee.In Canada, the term Native American is not used, and the most usual way to refer to the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, other than the Inuit and Métis, is First Nations. The term Indian is still used in some official contexts, but many people now consider it old-fashioned or offensive. To refer to an individual person, state which First Nation they belong to: She’s a Cree/Mohawk.