natural history


Definition of natural history 

1 : a treatise on some aspect of nature

2 : the natural development of something (such as an organism or disease) over a period of time

3 : the study of natural objects especially in the field from an amateur or popular point of view

Examples of natural history in a Sentence

the natural history of bees We went to the Natural History Museum.

Recent Examples on the Web

Last month, the long-dead animals surfaced — reincarnated as exhibits at Israel's new natural history museum, which is set to open in July. Oded Balilty, Fox News, "AP PHOTOS: Long-dead critters animate Israel's nature museum," 11 June 2018 These fossils might not wow visitors whose idea of paleontology is limited to massive dinosaur reconstructions at other natural history museums. Stefen Chow, Smithsonian, "The Great Chinese Dinosaur Boom," 19 Apr. 2018 Since the first discovery, van de Kamp began scanning more fossils Handschin had left in various Swedish natural history museums. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Fossils Show Ancient Horrifying Xenomorph-Style Insects," 29 Aug. 2018 Home to the Alaska Public Lands Information Center, the Tanana Chiefs Conference cultural center and Explore Fairbanks — the local visitors' bureau — the center educates visitors about the region's heritage and natural history. Kirsten Swann, Anchorage Daily News, "Exploring Fairbanks, the golden heart of Alaska," 3 May 2018 John's life and work were closely entwined with his beloved Ireland, whose music, literature and natural history were a lifelong source of joy and inspiration. Hartford Courant,, "John J. Ford," 25 Apr. 2018 Stroll through the natural history exhibit that explains how the lake and dunes came to be. Joanne Cleaver,, "Door County vs. Leelanau: Which Midwest peninsula is tops? (Hint: Depends on the category.)," 25 June 2018 Presentations will include a display of falcons and hawks by master falconer Cisco Clibourne, a seminar on the migration of Swainson’s hawks through Borrego, the natural history of roadrunners, hummingbirds, and burrowing owls. Ernie Cowan Outdoors,, "Conservancy finishes survey of plant, wildlife species," 14 Feb. 2018 The New River is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities – like whitewater rafting, scenic float trips, kayaking, fishing and more. Denisa Protani,, "White Water Rafting Adventure Vacation in West Virginia for Four with River Expeditions!," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'natural history.' 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 history

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for natural history

The first known use of natural history was in 1534

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More Definitions for natural history

natural history


English Language Learners Definition of natural history

: the study of plants, animals, and sometimes ancient human civilizations

natural history


Medical Definition of natural history 

: the natural development of something (as an organism or disease) over a period of time increasing knowledge of the natural histories of tumors— H. S. N. Greene

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with natural history

Spanish Central: Translation of natural history

Nglish: Translation of natural history for Spanish Speakers

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