un·​nat·​u·​ral | \ˌən-ˈna-chə-rəl, -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

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Other Words from unnatural

unnaturally \ ˌən-​ˈna-​chə-​rə-​lē , -​ˈnach-​rə-​, -​ˈna-​chər-​ \ adverb
unnaturalness \ ˌən-​ˈna-​chə-​rəl-​nəs , -​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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Subramanian Swamy, a prominent lawmaker from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, said this week that homosexuality was unnatural and against Hindu nationalism. NBC News, "Gay sex not an aberration, Indian judge says ahead of ruling on homosexuality ban," 12 July 2018 Professional makeup artists have hated the look for years, calling it unnatural and not lifelike. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The long-term influence of Meghan Markle’s royal wedding makeup," 21 May 2018 From birth to natural and unnatural disaster, what keeps us all together? Trevor Fraser, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Review: In Tandem - Fringe 2018," 14 May 2018 Such an approach that has ultimately proved foreign and unnatural to the likes of Mourinho and Conte. SI.com, "Why Maurizio Sarri Is the Right Man to Replace Antionio Conte at Chelsea This Summer," 8 May 2018 What’s unnatural is the Republican belief that the leaking, rather than the subject of the leaks, is the underlying problem. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Republicans Don’t Care About the Russia Scandal. They Just Want Trump to Be a Better Liar.," 22 Mar. 2018 Then there were the flies, swarming in thick groups unnatural for November. Vinny Vella, Philly.com, "A Bucks County couple kept 31 cats in squalor. A new state law is helping prosecute them.," 7 July 2018 And for an organic chemist, that meant bringing the process of unnatural selection to proteins, to give the workhorses of the biology world functions never before seen in nature. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Inside a Chemist’s Quest to Hack Evolution and Cure Genetic Disease," 12 June 2018 The idea that aquamation is unnatural or gross or even immoral has impeded its adoption in other states. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "Looking for a Greener Death," 20 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of unnatural

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unnatural

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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

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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, -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

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Comments on unnatural

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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