na·​tal ˈnā-tᵊl How to pronounce natal (audio)
: native
: of, relating to, or present at birth
especially : associated with one's birth
a natal star

Examples of natal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The jets occur when a star first bursts through its natal envelope of cosmic dust, shooting out a pair of opposing jets into space. Julia Musto, Fox News, 12 July 2023 Your natal Saturn speaks to your level of discipline, responsibility, and maturity. Emily Newhouse, Allure, 15 June 2023 The larvae metamorphose into juvenile salamanders about 2 inches long, and leave their natal pools in June and July. Don Lyman,, 20 Apr. 2023 Though wild salmon are known for their homing instincts, not all return to their natal streams. Lesley Evans Ogden, Discover Magazine, 7 Apr. 2023 Her natal town was Eatonton, Georgia, a place that still exists, the birthplace of Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker, as well as other storytellers whose names are remembered only by the land. Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Harper's Magazine, 21 Aug. 2022 Salmon that leave their natal stream just months after hatching can return after years in the ocean, sometimes traversing nine hundred miles and gaining seven thousand feet in elevation to do so. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 29 Mar. 2021 An anadromous fish, it is born in fresh water, spends its adulthood in salt water and returns to its natal rivers to spawn. Andrew S. Lewis, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'natal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin natalis, from natus, past participle of nasci to be born — more at nation

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of natal was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near natal

Cite this Entry

“Natal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


na·​tal ˈnāt-ᵊl How to pronounce natal (audio)
: of or relating to birth

Medical Definition


na·​tal ˈnāt-ᵊl How to pronounce natal (audio)
: of or relating to birth
lowering the natal death rateJournal of the American Medical Association

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Na·​tal nə-ˈtal How to pronounce Natal (audio)
city and port on the Atlantic in northeastern Brazil population 803,739

Note: Natal serves as capital of the state of Rio Grande do Norte.

former province of the eastern part of the Republic of South Africa between the Drakensberg Mountains and the Indian Ocean

Note: Natal is now part of the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

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