un·​nat·​u·​ral | \ ˌən-ˈna-chə-rəl How to pronounce unnatural (audio) , -ˈnach-rəl \

Definition of unnatural

1 : not being in accordance with nature or consistent with a normal course of events
2a : not being in accordance with normal human feelings or behavior : perverse
b : lacking ease and naturalness : contrived her manner was forced and unnatural
c : inconsistent with what is reasonable or expected an unnatural alliance

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from unnatural

unnaturally \ ˌən-​ˈna-​chə-​rə-​lē How to pronounce unnatural (audio) , -​ˈnach-​rə-​ , -​ˈna-​chər-​ \ adverb
unnaturalness \ ˌən-​ˈna-​chə-​rəl-​nəs How to pronounce unnatural (audio) , -​ˈnach-​rəl-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for unnatural

irregular, anomalous, unnatural mean not conforming to rule, law, or custom. irregular implies not conforming to a law or regulation imposed for the sake of uniformity in method, practice, or conduct. concerned about his irregular behavior anomalous implies not conforming to what might be expected because of the class or type to which it belongs or the laws that govern its existence. her drive made her an anomalous figure in a sleepy organization unnatural suggests what is contrary to nature or to principles or standards felt to be essential to the well-being of civilized society. prisoners treated with unnatural cruelty

Examples of unnatural in a Sentence

It seems unnatural to keep the bird in a cage. She has an unnatural obsession with money. Her smile looked forced and unnatural.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The back and neck are bent in unnatural positions when hunched over a bike. Jen Murphy, WSJ, 5 June 2021 After seven rounds of this unnatural selection, the percentage of spores that germinated at 35°C—a crucial step for infecting the mites—increased from 44% to 70%. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, 4 June 2021 So top level decision-making and thinking in industrial era firms tends to continue in the vertical mold, where the collaboration across boundaries required for digital leadership is unnatural. Steve Denning, Forbes, 27 May 2021 Our post-pandemic 2021 look will have less to do than constructing an unnatural silhouette than revealing the contours of the body’s innate form. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 27 May 2021 The video’s caption indicates that the unnatural food is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos; spider monkeys in the wild subsist mostly on fruit. Tom Steele, Dallas News, 25 May 2021 Understand that even the most loving adoptions contain the trauma of biological separation that often forces the child into playing an unnatural role. Js Lee, Health.com, 19 May 2021 Current anti-trans sentiments center on the idea that transgender is both unnatural and new. Brandy Schillace, Scientific American, 10 May 2021 Pettitt adds that among some hunter-gatherer societies the death of infants or children is viewed as unnatural and disturbingly out of the norm. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 May 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unnatural

Time Traveler for unnatural

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for unnatural

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unnatural.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unnatural. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unnatural



English Language Learners Definition of unnatural

: different from how things usually are in the physical world or in nature
: different from what is normal in a way that is seen as wrong, disturbing, etc.
: not real


un·​nat·​u·​ral | \ ˌən-ˈna-chə-rəl How to pronounce unnatural (audio) , -ˈnach-rəl \

Kids Definition of unnatural

1 : different from what is found in nature or happens naturally
2 : different from what is usually considered normal behavior
3 : not genuine an unnatural smile

Other Words from unnatural

unnaturally adverb


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!