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

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 Rincon Consultants’ Biologists will talk about the natural history of the area, the Habitat Management Program and the flora and fauna. Linda Mcintosh,, "Grant goes to Wellness Warriors... community news," 11 May 2018 Go Birding Full-on birding isn't for everyone, but a taste of the pastime makes an excellent introduction to natural history. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Best Father's Day Gifts Money Can't Buy," 30 May 2018 The new and improved Raptors were unable to change their natural history due to LeBron's usual brilliance and because LeBron's supporting cast finally supported him after disappearing against the Indiana Pacers in the first round. Ted Crow,, "LeBron James leads Cleveland Cavaliers past Toronto to Eastern finals: Crowquill," 9 May 2018 The quest for a new $100 million-plus natural history museum to be built on a full block in downtown Milwaukee was announced a year ago. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Public Museum officials seek changes in county lease to aid move to new home," 6 July 2018 Director Patty Jenkins shared a photo of Wiig surrounded by taxidermy in what appears to be a natural history museum. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "First look: Kristen Wiig doesn't yet seem Cheetah-like in photo from 'Wonder Woman' sequel," 27 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.

See More

First Known Use of natural history

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about natural history

Share natural history

Statistics for natural history

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for natural history

The first known use of natural history was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on natural history

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


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!