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 Early collaboration, budgeting and planning between researchers and natural history museums will be essential to ensure that physical space and financial resources are available to store new collections. Popular Science, "How fossil preservation and public health are intertwined," 18 Dec. 2020 Fire has always been a part of California’s natural history. Tess Joosse, Science | AAAS, "Human-sparked wildfires are more destructive than those caused by nature," 8 Dec. 2020 There will also be exhibitions and presentations on the lake’s natural history, its development as an early 20th century resort and its role in the history of the Calumet Region. Carole Carlson,, "Indiana Humanities grants launch steamboat, historical programs for three other nonprofits," 4 Dec. 2020 This print, depicting the Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, and Merriam’s subspecies, is one of several in a series that blends cool art with natural history. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "The 2020 Turkey Hunter’s Holiday Gift Guide," 24 Nov. 2020 Most of Darwin’s volume is nitty-gritty natural history, with two of its fourteen chapters dealing with the geographical distribution of species and two more with geology. Dan Falk, Smithsonian Magazine, "Charles Darwin’s Publisher Didn’t Believe in Evolution, but Sold His Revolutionary Book Anyway," 12 Feb. 2020 As late as 2015, only a few short-term studies had documented the birds’ natural history. Yao-hua Law, The Atlantic, "Helmeted Hornbills Are Very Picky About Their Nests," 16 Dec. 2020 Thanks to the efforts of early algae pressers, many natural history museums contain vast collections of algal pressings that date back centuries. Annie Roth, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Use Century-Old Seaweed to Solve a Marine Mystery," 28 Sep. 2020 Discovery’s point of difference will be its wide range of unscripted programming, including true-crime offerings from ID, natural history documentaries from Discovery and offbeat reality shows from TLC. Stephen Battaglio Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Animal Planet, HGTV enter streaming arena as Discovery launches new service," 2 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for natural history

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The first known use of natural history was in 1534

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Statistics for natural history

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Natural history.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on natural history

Nglish: Translation of natural history for Spanish Speakers

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