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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

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 The idea that aquamation is unnatural or gross or even immoral has impeded its adoption in other states. Emily Atkin, WIRED, "The Powerful Groups Stonewalling a Greener Way to Die," 17 June 2018 Everything about the division of the Korean Peninsula is unnatural. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Talk of peace with North Korea has the South wondering: Will this time be different?," 28 Apr. 2018 Its whole purpose seemed to be steeping the audience in the awful, unnatural realities of Gilead, without furthering the plot. refinery29.com, "The Handmaid's Tale Recap Season 2, Episode 12: Gilead's Romeo & Juliet," 4 July 2018 The plume of the Old Faithful geyser reaches unnatural heights in the upper right corner of the landscape, and the Old Faithful Inn next to it would be three-quarters of a mile long as depicted. Betsy Mason, National Geographic, "Gorgeous Panoramic Paintings of National Parks Now Online," 28 June 2018 The wives expect completely unnatural emotional reactions from the handmaids, and even Aunt Lydia’s brutal brainwashing isn’t enough to put the handmaids’ brains in line with the wives’ expectations. Rena Gross, Billboard, "14 Significant Moments From 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 10 'The Last Ceremony'," 20 June 2018 For instance, people’s blinking in fake videos may appear unnatural. Deb Riechmann, The Seattle Times, "I never said that! High-tech deception of ‘deepfake’ videos," 3 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of unnatural

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unnatural

Phrases Related to unnatural

unnatural causes

Statistics for unnatural

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unnatural

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

See more words from the same century

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 , -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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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