nat·​u·​ral | \ ˈna-chə-rəl How to pronounce natural (audio) , 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
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 How to pronounce naturalness (audio) , 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

If the thought of putting cream on your lips doesn't seem natural, Glossier thought of that, too. Rebecca Dancer, Allure, "Glossier Just Launched Its First Eye Cream — But It's Not Just For Your Eyes," 29 Apr. 2019 While milk paint is all-natural and contains zero VOC's, chalk paint is chemically-based. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Milk Paint: The Eco-Friendly Option That Everyone Should Know," 18 Apr. 2019 For weeks, Republicans and Democrats have failed to reach a resolution on the multibillion-dollar legislation, which would provide money for recovery in areas across the U.S. hit by hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "Disaster-Aid Legislation Stalls in Congress," 11 Apr. 2019 The trick is to choose a liner that is a shade darker than your actual lip color and then draw a line just outside the natural shape of your lips. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Meghan Markle's Been Using a Genius Makeup Trick Nobody Noticed Until Now," 31 Mar. 2019 Round This simple shape is perfect for short nails (even nail biters!), extending only slightly past your nail bed and maintaining its natural shape. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "The Easy Way to Figure Out Which Nail Shape Looks Best on You," 10 Jan. 2019 Labor productivity would drop for other reasons, as well, and resources would have to be diverted to dealing with things like natural disasters, rather than building useful things like infrastructure. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The economic impacts of climate change could limit climate change," 19 Dec. 2018 The Washington Post also found that cable news stations similarly covered the fires at a disproportionately lower rate than other natural disasters nationwide. Rani Molla, Recode, "Recent East Coast hurricanes have gotten more media coverage than California wildfires," 21 Nov. 2018 The ball has its shape — a prolate spheroid — because that was the natural shape of the inflated pig bladder used to make the first football in the 19th century. Adam Jude, The Seattle Times, "College football’s unluckiest defense? UW Huskies’ key for more turnovers: Don’t change anything," 30 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There's no denying the fact that LaMont and Mike looked like absolute naturals up there, but performing in front of Kelly's fan base was obviously still a nerve-wracking feat. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson Sang With Police Officers at Her Concert and the Response Was So Powerful," 23 Feb. 2019 Coneflowers are naturals for the meadow or prairie garden, where their showy blooms add welcome color. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "A Quick Guide to Growing Stunning Black-Eyed Susans and Coneflowers," 29 May 2018 Coneflowers are naturals for the meadow or prairie garden, where their showy blooms add welcome color. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "A Quick Guide to Growing Stunning Black-Eyed Susans and Coneflowers," 29 May 2018 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

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

Adjective and Noun

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

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Statistics for natural

Last Updated

12 May 2019

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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 How to pronounce natural (audio) , 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 How to pronounce natural (audio) \

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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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