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

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Other Words from natural


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for natural

Synonyms: Adjective

born, congenital

Synonyms: Noun

airhead, birdbrain, blockhead, bonehead, bubblehead, chowderhead, chucklehead, clodpoll (or clodpole), clot [British], cluck, clunk, cretin, cuddy (or cuddie) [British dialect], deadhead, dim bulb [slang], dimwit, dip, dodo, dolt, donkey, doofus [slang], dope, dork [slang], dullard, dum-dum, dumbbell, dumbhead, dummkopf, dummy, dunce, dunderhead, fathead, gander, golem, goof, goon, half-wit, hammerhead, hardhead, idiot, ignoramus, imbecile, jackass, know-nothing, knucklehead, lamebrain, loggerhead [chiefly dialect], loon, lump, lunkhead, meathead, mome [archaic], moron, mug [chiefly British], mutt, nimrod [slang], nincompoop, ninny, ninnyhammer, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, noddy, noodle, numskull (or numbskull), oaf, pinhead, prat [British], ratbag [chiefly Australian], saphead, schlub (also shlub) [slang], schnook [slang], simpleton, stock, stupe, stupid, thickhead, turkey, woodenhead, yahoo, yo-yo

Antonyms: Adjective


Antonyms: Noun

brain, genius

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Along with those critters, another natural pest control is Beauveria bassiana, a fungus found in soils. Rob Dunn, Discover Magazine, "Our Attempts to Eradicate Insects are Just Making them Resistant to Pesticides," 16 Nov. 2018 So how are humans destroying such a sprawling natural feature? Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "How Things Got So Bad for the Great Barrier Reef," 25 Oct. 2018 Testing natural colors for candy at Mars Inc.'s research and development center for candy and gum in Chicago. Heather Haddon, WSJ, "Anyone for Diglycerides? Anyone? Food Scientists Are Getting Fed Up With Picky Eaters," 12 Oct. 2018 Reuters reported that the latest natural disaster to strike Japan knocked out power to all 5.3 million of Hokkaido’s residents. Fox News, "At least 7 dead, dozens feared buried after quake hits northern Japan," 2 Oct. 2018 Any differences between the two images could theoretically result from light signals produced by E.T. (though there could of course be natural explanations as well). Mike Wall,, "Student Project Scans Sky for Alien Laser Beams," 29 Sep. 2018 For those interested in natural treatments, Shen says that mindfulness, paced breathing, and acupuncture seem to work. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "How Long Does Menopause Last?," 6 Sep. 2018 While our system can usually fight off this invading bacteria, sometimes our natural defenses slack off, allowing the E. coli to linger and multiply. Amy Capetta, Redbook, "6 Signs of UTI That You'll Hopefully Never Experience," 6 Aug. 2018 Underlights will a little life to your natural color with basically zero upkeep. Lillian Chen, Seventeen, "8 Super Cute Fall Hair Color Trends That Will Make You Crave a PSL," 23 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.

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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

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Statistics for natural

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for natural

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

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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

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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

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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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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