or na·ta·to·ry

[ney-tuh-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-, nat-uh- or ney-tuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-, nat-uh-]


pertaining to, adapted for, or characterized by swimming: natatorial birds.

Origin of natatorial

First recorded in 1810–20; natat(ion) + -orial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for natatory

Historical Examples of natatory

  • And yet 'this natatory art' is but little cultivated amongst us.

  • I had confidence enough in my natatory powers to make me easy on that score.

    The Boy Tar

    Mayne Reid

  • About the degree of your natatory powers we needn't dispute.

    Gwen Wynn

    Mayne Reid

  • The eyes were probably stalked, the antennae and mandibles biramous and natatory, and both armed with masticatory processes.

  • They are free and natatory when young, but in the adult state attached to rocks or some floating substance.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

British Dictionary definitions for natatory


natatorial (ˌnætəˈtɔːrɪəl, ˌneɪtəˈtɔːrɪəl)


of or relating to swimming

Word Origin for natatory

C18: from Late Latin natātōrius, from natāre to swim
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

Word Origin and History for natatory



1816, from natatory (adj.), from Latin natatorius, from natator "swimmer" (see natatorium) + -al.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper