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[uhn-nach-er-uh l, -nach-ruh l] /ʌnˈnætʃ ər əl, -ˈnætʃ rəl/
contrary to the laws or course of nature.
at variance with the character or nature of a person, animal, or plant.
at variance with what is normal or to be expected:
the unnatural atmosphere of the place.
lacking human qualities or sympathies; monstrous; inhuman:
an obsessive and unnatural hatred.
not genuine or spontaneous; artificial or contrived:
a stiff, unnatural manner.
Obsolete. lacking a valid or natural claim; illegitimate.
Origin of unnatural
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1375-1425; See origin at un-1, natural
Related forms
unnaturally, adverb
unnaturalness, noun
3. irregular, aberrant. 4. heartless, brutal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unnaturalness
Historical Examples
  • It seems to me unnecessary to point out to you the unnaturalness—I may be frank, and say the impossibility—of such a supposition.

    A Singular Life Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
  • We were, of course, blissfully ignorant of the unnaturalness of the process.

    Birds of the Plains Douglas Dewar
  • The unnaturalness of the creed which they expressed always hampered them.

    Health and Education Charles Kingsley
  • Certainly there are fine qualities which war, despite its unnaturalness, develops.

    Carry On Coningsby Dawson
  • All this the dust of stage carpentry destroys, and the unnaturalness of lime-light dispels.

  • The third element of guilt lies in the unnaturalness of calumny.

    Sermons Preached at Brighton Frederick W. Robertson
  • The higher that women are raised to the domain of unreality and unnaturalness, the lower is generally their moral standard.

    Women of the Teutonic Nations Hermann Schoenfeld
  • Consequently, when she spoke the name in his presence, there was not a trace of unnaturalness in tone or manner.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • This is simply infamous and Nature teaches its infamy and unnaturalness.

    Facts And Fictions Of Life Helen H. Gardener
  • The unnaturalness of the two foregoing illustrations needs no comment.

    Dramatic Technique George Pierce Baker
British Dictionary definitions for unnaturalness


/ʌnˈnætʃərəl; -ˈnætʃrəl/
contrary to nature; abnormal
not in accordance with accepted standards of behaviour or right and wrong: unnatural love
uncanny; supernatural: unnatural phenomena
affected or forced: an unnatural manner
inhuman or monstrous; wicked: an unnatural crime
(obsolete) illegitimate
Derived Forms
unnaturally, adverb
unnaturalness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unnaturalness



early 15c., "not in accord with physical nature," from un- (1) "not" + natural (adj.). Meaning "artificial" is attested from 1746; that of "at variance with moral standards" is from 1520s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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