nat·u·ral | \ˈna-chə-rəl, ˈnach-rəl\

Definition of natural 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : based on an inherent sense of right and wrong natural justice

2a : being in accordance with or determined by nature natural impulses

b : having or constituting a classification based on features existing in nature

3a(1) : begotten as distinguished from adopted their natural son also : legitimate

(2) : being a relation by actual consanguinity as distinguished from adoption natural parents

b : illegitimate a natural child

4 : having an essential relation with someone or something : following from the nature of the one in question his guilt is a natural deduction from the evidence

5 : implanted or being as if implanted by nature : seemingly inborn a natural talent for art

6 : of or relating to nature as an object of study and research natural observations

7 : having a specified character by nature a natural athlete a natural leader

8a : occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature : not marvelous or supernatural natural causes died a natural death

b : formulated by human reason alone rather than revelation natural religion natural rights

c : having a normal or usual character events followed their natural course

9 : possessing or exhibiting the higher qualities (such as kindliness and affection) of human nature a noble … brother … ever most kind and natural— William Shakespeare

10a : growing without human care also : not cultivated natural prairie unbroken by the plow

b : existing in or produced by nature : not artificial natural turf natural curiosities

c : relating to or being natural food

11a : being in a state of nature without spiritual enlightenment : unregenerate natural man

b : living in or as if in a state of nature untouched by the influences of civilization and society

12a : having a physical or real existence as contrasted with one that is spiritual, intellectual, or fictitious a corporation is a legal but not a natural person

b : of, relating to, or operating in the physical as opposed to the spiritual world natural laws describe phenomena of the physical universe

13a : closely resembling an original : true to nature

b : marked by easy simplicity and freedom from artificiality, affectation, or constraint Successful people are genuine and natural rather than synthetic and imitative.— Gilbert Seldes

c : having a form or appearance found in nature natural hair

14a : having neither flats nor sharps the natural scale of C major

b : being neither sharp nor flat natural musical notes

c : having the pitch modified by the natural sign

15 : of an off-white or beige color



Definition of natural (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one born without the usual powers of reason and understanding

2a : a sign ♮ placed on any degree of the musical staff to nullify the effect of a preceding sharp or flat

b : a note or tone affected by the natural sign

3 : a result or combination that immediately wins the stake in a game: such as

a : a throw of 7 or 11 on the first cast in craps

b : blackjack sense 1b

4a : one having natural skills, talents, or abilities

b : something that is likely to become an immediate success

c : one that is obviously suitable for a specific purpose

5 : afro

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from natural


naturalness \ˈna-chə-rəl-nəs, ˈnach-rəl \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for natural


natural, ingenuous, naive, unsophisticated, artless mean free from pretension or calculation. natural implies lacking artificiality and self-consciousness and having a spontaneousness suggesting the natural rather than the man-made world. her unaffected, natural manner ingenuous implies inability to disguise or conceal one's feelings or intentions. the ingenuous enthusiasm of children naive suggests lack of worldly wisdom often connoting credulousness and unchecked innocence. politically naive unsophisticated implies a lack of experience and training necessary for social ease and adroitness. unsophisticated adolescents artless suggests a naturalness resulting from unawareness of the effect one is producing on others. artless charm

synonyms see in addition regular

Examples of natural in a Sentence


furniture made of natural materials The river forms a natural boundary between the two countries. natural foods like whole grain bread and fresh vegetables Gray hair is one of the natural consequences of getting older. a natural increase in the population the natural course of the disease It's perfectly natural to feel nervous before a test.


European explorers had a tendency to view the nonwhite peoples they encountered as uncivilized naturals.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Leaving your ends last will cut down on damage, and give the overall style a more natural-looking vibe. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "6 Common Curling Iron Mistakes Everyone Makes, According to Hairstylists," 12 July 2018 But their perpetual attempts to pull the game’s narrative in their favor only seems natural. Alejandro Chacoff, The Atlantic, "Soccer Has No Interest in Fairness," 12 July 2018 Jenner, 20, posted a video on Snapchat showing off her short hairstyle while sporting the smaller, natural-looking lips. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Kylie Jenner reveals on Instagram she removed lip filler," 10 July 2018 Ramos, a natural fit to reunite with the Nationals, is also expected to be switching teams. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Will Manny Machado, Brad Hand and others get traded before All-Star Game?," 9 July 2018 Woods is also a rising star on the plus-size modeling and fashion design scene; branching out into makeup seems like a natural fit. Meagan Fredette,, "Kylie Jenner Revealed Her Dogs Are Protective Of Baby Stormi," 7 July 2018 Kyle Kuzma, at 6-foot-9 with a twitchy jumper and nascent shot creation abilities, is the most natural fit alongside James, and is likely to be the biggest beneficiary of James’ playmaking. Chris Gayomali, GQ, "The Upside of the Lakers," 2 July 2018 Another popular wood used for outdoor kitchens is western red cedar, which, restained every two years or so, will retain its natural good looks while resisting water damage and decay. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "S.A.’s money’s no object, high-end outdoor kitchens," 2 July 2018 At the time, Mr. Trump was a white male in his 60s, squarely in the network’s core audience, and his unfussy patriotism and keen sense of aggrievement made him a natural fit for the Fox News aesthetic. New York Times, "Fox News Once Gave Trump a Perch. Now It’s His Bullhorn.," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But whether their nails are long or short, acrylic or natural, keeping their tips neat is something their mom Kris Jenner drilled into their heads at a young age. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Kendall Jenner Gets Long Acrylic Nails Just Like Sister Kylie Jenner (After Once Calling Her Out!)," 22 May 2018 Blurring the boundaries between menswear and womenswear is something that these ’90s rock progenies are naturals at (alongside models Erin Mommsen and Noé Martin). Vogue, "Zoë Kravitz and Lennon Gallagher Star in Saint Laurent’s Homage to Youth Rebellion," 19 June 2018 The smooth-sipping spirit is a mixed drink natural with a prominent nose of citrus zest and muted juniper notes, and is currently available in more than a dozen states and counting. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio’s Top 5 distilleries," 4 June 2018 Nord Stream 2—and buy liquefied natural-gas from the U.S. to meet its energy demands. Natalia Drozdiak, WSJ, "Europe to Clinch Cheaper Russian Gas With Gazprom Deal," 24 May 2018 Coneflowers are naturals for the meadow or prairie garden, where their showy blooms add welcome color. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "A Quick Guide To Growing Stunning Black-Eyed Susans And Coneflowers," 9 Feb. 2018 The royal siblings already proved they’re naturals at being a flower girl and page boy at their Aunt Pippa’s wedding last May, and they are expected to reprise their roles for Uncle Harry’s. 47. Sophie Dodd,, "100 Questions About the Royal Wedding Answered!," 7 May 2018 But after discovering little Chloe was a natural who loved to ride, a new plan emerged. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Chloe Kim's Korean-American dad calls her the ‘American dream'," 13 Feb. 2018 Ramsay is one of those gifted naturals who seem born to filmmaking, and everything here feels freshly and terribly seen. Ty Burr,, "Lynne Ramsay finds a fresh balance of beauty and mayhem in ‘You Were Never Really Here’," 11 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'natural.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of natural


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for natural


Middle English, from Anglo-French naturel, from Latin naturalis of nature, from natura nature


see natural entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about natural

Statistics for natural

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for natural

The first known use of natural was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for natural



English Language Learners Definition of natural

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: existing in nature and not made or caused by people : coming from nature

: not having any extra substances or chemicals added : not containing anything artificial

: usual or expected



English Language Learners Definition of natural (Entry 2 of 2)

: someone who is good at doing something from the first time it is done : someone who has a natural ability to do something

: someone or something that is suited for a particular job, purpose, etc.

: a musical note that is neither sharp nor flat


nat·u·ral | \ˈna-chə-rəl, ˈnach-rəl\

Kids Definition of natural

1 : found in or produced by nature That's her natural hair color. a natural lake

2 : being or acting as expected : normal a natural reaction

3 : present or existing at birth : born in a person or animal natural instincts natural curiosity

4 : having qualities or skills without training or effort She's a natural jumper.

5 : occurring in the normal course of life He died of natural causes.

6 : being simple and sincere In spite of himself, M. C. warmed to Jones's easy and natural kindness …— Virginia Hamilton, M. C. Higgins

7 : lifelike The photo is very natural.

8 : not raised or lowered in musical pitch using a sharp or flat


nat·u·ral | \ˈnach-(ə-)rəl \

Medical Definition of natural 

1 : having, constituting, or relating to a classification based on features existing in nature

2 : of or relating to nature as an object of study and research

3 : relating to or being natural food

Keep scrolling for more



Legal Definition of natural 

1 : based on an inherent sense of right and wrong natural justice — see also natural law, natural right

2a : existing as part of or determined by nature the natural condition of the land

b : being in accordance with or arising from nature especially as distinguished from operation of law — see also natural person — compare artificial

c : arising from the usual course of events a natural result of the accident

3a : begotten as distinguished from adopted

b : being a relation by consanguinity as distinguished from adoption natural parents

4 : illegitimate a natural child

Other Words from natural

naturally adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on natural

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for natural

Spanish Central: Translation of natural

Nglish: Translation of natural for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of natural for Arabic Speakers

Comments on natural

What made you want to look up natural? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!