natural

1 of 2

adjective

nat·​u·​ral ˈna-ch(ə-)rəl How to pronounce natural (audio)
1
: based on an inherent sense of right and wrong
natural justice
2
a
: being in accordance with or determined by nature
natural impulses
b
: having or constituting a classification based on features existing in nature
3
a(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
: born to parents not married to each other
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
8
a
: 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
10
a
: 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
11
a
: 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
12
a
: 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
13
a
: 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
14
a
: 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
naturalness noun

natural

2 of 2

noun

1
: one born without the usual powers of reason and understanding
2
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Potash mines near oil and natural-gas reserves are holding back Exxon’s development of a key asset in the Permian Basin. WSJ, 28 Nov. 2022 Farmhouse popularity Century-old farmhouses made the most of timber, brick and other natural materials, whether collected nearby or brought by railcar in a kit. oregonlive, 26 Nov. 2022 Think neutral colors and natural materials in the open-concept kitchen, living and dining areas, in addition to fresh breezes from the terraces. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 23 Nov. 2022 The concept of rewilding – broadly the restoration of indigenous, natural ecosystems and processes – has blossomed in rural areas, from reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone Park to old-growth forestry in the Carpathian Mountains. Kieron Monks, CNN, 22 Nov. 2022 The model railroad will travel past scenes made from natural materials that depict Indianapolis' downtown, American West landmarks, Northwest Coast Native villages, the Las Vegas Strip, Grand Canyon and more. The Indianapolis Star, 21 Nov. 2022 They are considered one of the worst destroyers of South Florida’s natural ecosystems. Lois K. Solomon, Sun Sentinel, 18 Nov. 2022 Traditional Kumeyaay baskets are made from natural materials, often by coiling a riparian grass called juncus around bundles of long deer grass to build the shape up. Lauren J. Mappstaff Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Nov. 2022 State law requires that California’s emissions be reduced at least 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2045, at which point any emissions from human activity would be offset by natural ecosystems and other solutions. Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2022
Noun
In more intimate settings, Oz can seem like a political natural. The New Yorker, 15 May 2022 Mozart sets these words to an ascending major sixth, starting from the dominant, D natural. Matthew Aucoin, The Atlantic, 23 Nov. 2021 The intrigues played and secrets kept in Dune make this kind of game a natural for a licensed game and Dune: Betrayal fits the genre nicely. Rob Wieland, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 First, there’s the impeccable hot dog ($3.62), which features a snappy natural-casing Vienna Beef sausage topped with just mustard, relish, onions and sport peppers. Ariel Cheung, chicagotribune.com, 4 Aug. 2021 But with vaccination levels lagging in Black and Brown communities, the program seemed a natural to persuade those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic but are often reluctant to get shots. Anchorage Daily News, 31 May 2021 But with vaccination levels lagging in Black and Brown communities, the program seemed a natural to persuade those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic but are often reluctant to get shots. Anchorage Daily News, 31 May 2021 But with vaccination levels lagging in Black and Brown communities, the program seemed a natural to persuade those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic but are often reluctant to get shots. Anchorage Daily News, 31 May 2021 But with vaccination levels lagging in Black and Brown communities, the program seemed a natural to persuade those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic but are often reluctant to get shots. Anchorage Daily News, 31 May 2021 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

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

First Known Use

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Noun

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of natural was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near natural

Cite this Entry

“Natural.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natural. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

natural 1 of 2

adjective

nat·​u·​ral ˈnach-(ə-)rəl How to pronounce natural (audio)
1
: born in or with one : innate
natural ability
2
: being such by nature : born
a natural musician
3
: biological sense 2
her natural parents
4
a
: growing without human care
natural forests
b
: existing in or produced by nature
natural scenery
c
: relating to or being natural food
5
: human entry 1 sense 1
it is not natural to howl at the moon
6
: of, relating to, or following the usual events and happenings of nature or the physical world : not miraculous
natural causes
7
: not made or changed by humans
natural silk
a person's natural complexion
8
: being simple and sincere
natural manners
9
: lifelike
the people in the picture look natural
10
a
: having neither sharps nor flats in the key signature
b
: having a sharp or a flat changed in pitch by a natural sign
naturalness noun

natural

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: a sign ♮ placed on a line or space of the musical staff to change a sharp or flat in the key signature back to the natural tone value
b
: a note or tone changed by the natural sign
2
: one naturally able to do or to learn easily how to do something
a natural at golf
3
: afro

Medical Definition

natural

adjective

nat·​u·​ral ˈnach-(ə-)rəl How to pronounce natural (audio)
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

Legal Definition

natural

adjective

nat·​u·​ral
1
: based on an inherent sense of right and wrong
natural justice
see also natural law, natural right
2
a
: 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
3
a
: begotten as distinguished from adopted
b
: being a relation by consanguinity as distinguished from adoption
natural parents
4
: illegitimate
a natural child
naturally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on natural

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