adjective un·nat·u·ral \ ˌən-ˈna-chə-rəl , -ˈnach-rəl \
|Updated on: 4 Aug 2018

Definition of unnatural

1 : not being in accordance with nature or consistent with a normal course of events
2 a : 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


play \ˌən-ˈna-chə-rə-lē, -ˈnach-rə-, -ˈna-chər-\ adverb


play \ˌən-ˈna-chə-rəl-nəs, -ˈnach-rəl-\ noun

Examples of unnatural in a Sentence

  1. It seems unnatural to keep the bird in a cage.

  2. She has an unnatural obsession with money.

  3. Her smile looked forced and unnatural.

Recent Examples of unnatural from the Web

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.

First Known Use of unnatural

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
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Synonym Discussion of 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

UNNATURAL Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of unnatural for English Language Learners

  • : 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

UNNATURAL Defined for Kids


adjective un·nat·u·ral \ ˌən-ˈna-chə-rəl , -ˈnach-rəl \

Definition of unnatural for Students

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



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