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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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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

Adjective 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. Noun 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 The migrants were welcomed to the U.S. though the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) program for countries hit hard by natural disasters or civil conflict. TheWeek, "U.S. appellate panel upholds Trump administration's right to end legal status of 400,000 migrants," 15 Sep. 2020 Think the West Coast’s propensity for natural disasters is bad? oregonlive, "Wildfires are making life unbearable in Oregon, but nowhere in the U.S. is safe from Mother Nature’s wrath, now more than ever," 15 Sep. 2020 An epidemic of misinformation is also hurting efforts to combat the natural disasters. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Cloth masks ineffective against wildfire smoke, still slow spread of COVID-19," 15 Sep. 2020 In general, how much do these terms cover natural disasters? The Washington Post, "Talk about Travel," 14 Sep. 2020 Gautier Castro believes container homes are a worldwide solution to housing crises caused by natural disasters and refugee influxes. Mayra Cuevas, CNN, "Architect's innovative shipping container homes could help solve Puerto Rico's housing crisis," 14 Sep. 2020 During that time, many Chinatowns were destroyed by fire or natural disasters or abandoned by people fleeing the violence. Rachel Ng, National Geographic, "Why does the U.S. have so many Chinatowns?," 14 Sep. 2020 The Cowboys proved last year that, other than the quarterback — the natural order of things in the NFL, by the way — no one individual has to carry them. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "From a new coach to more weapons for Dak Prescott: A lot has changed for Cowboys since playoff loss to Rams," 11 Sep. 2020 Freak natural disasters — most with what scientists say likely have a climate change connection — seem to be everywhere in the crazy year 2020, the Associated Press reports, including record-breaking wildfires, temperatures and hurricanes. Chronicle Staff,, "California Wildfires: Live Updates Sept. 8-9," 10 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Collaborating with the award-winning Reynolds, who was recently named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, seems like a natural. Kaitlyn Greenidge, New York Times, "Can You Dismantle White Supremacy With Words?," 6 Mar. 2020 The first two are naturals; the third is a stretch. Mike Sutter,, "52 Weeks of Pizza: Pizza restaurant Trilogy Pizza & Wine Bistro’s deep dish does Chicago proud in San Antonio," 5 June 2020 As with cooking, there are some who are naturals at dishwashing and others who, um, need a little help. Los Angeles Times, "The best last-minute Mother’s Day gift? Do the dishes (and do them well)," 9 May 2020 From locks to weaves, to braids, wigs, naturals and blowouts, for some black women hair is a form of expression and cultural identity. Kyla Smith, Detroit Free Press, "Black hairstylists in metro Detroit and their clients prepare for a new normal," 17 May 2020 The naturals, of course, aren’t tied to a 9-foot leader and however many feet of PVC fly line. Morgan Lyle, Field & Stream, "10 Things to Know Before Your First Season of Flyfishing," 11 May 2020 Steam treatments are popular among naturals, and for good reason. Bianca Lambert, SELF, "How to Prevent Hair Breakage and Keep Your Natural Hair Moisturized When You Can’t Go to Your Stylist," 27 Apr. 2020 They, too, were called, looking like naturals and clearly having been put through something similar before., "Watch: De Ligt, Buffon, Rabiot, Higuain Sing Initiation Songs for Juventus Teammates," 24 July 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

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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Time Traveler for natural

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for natural

Last Updated

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Natural.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for natural


How to pronounce natural (audio)

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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