[nach-er-uhl, nach-ruhl]



Origin of natural

1300–50; Middle English < Latin nātūrālis (see nature, -al1); replacing Middle English naturel < Middle French < Latin, as above
Related formsnat·u·ral·ness, nounan·ti·nat·u·ral, adjectivean·ti·nat·u·ral·ly, adverban·ti·nat·u·ral·ness, nounhy·per·nat·u·ral, adjectivehy·per·nat·u·ral·ly, adverbhy·per·nat·u·ral·ness, nounnon·nat·u·ral, adjectivenon·nat·u·ral·ly, adverbnon·nat·u·ral·ness, nounpre·nat·u·ral, adjectivequa·si-nat·u·ral, adjectivequa·si-nat·u·ral·ly, adverbsub·nat·u·ral, adjectivesub·nat·u·ral·ly, adverbsub·nat·u·ral·ness, nountrans·nat·ur·al, adjectivetrans·nat·ur·al·ly, adverb

Synonyms for natural Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for natural

Contemporary Examples of natural

Historical Examples of natural

British Dictionary definitions for natural



of, existing in, or produced by naturenatural science; natural cliffs
in accordance with human natureit is only natural to want to be liked
as is normal or to be expected; ordinary or logicalthe natural course of events
not acquired; innatea natural gift for sport
being so through innate qualitiesa natural leader
not supernatural or strangenatural phenomena
not constrained or affected; genuine or spontaneous
not artificially dyed or coloureda natural blonde
following or resembling nature or life; lifelikeshe looked more natural without her make-up
not affected by man or civilization; uncultivated; wildin the natural state this animal is not ferocious
being or made from organic material; not synthetica natural fibre like cotton
illegitimate; born out of wedlock
not adopted but rather related by bloodher natural parents
  1. not sharp or flat
  2. (postpositive)denoting a note that is neither sharp nor flatB natural
  3. (of a key or scale) containing no sharps or flatsCompare flat 1 (def. 23), sharp (def. 12)
music of or relating to a trumpet, horn, etc, without valves or keys, on which only notes of the harmonic series of the keynote can be obtained
determined by inborn convictionnatural justice; natural rights
  1. (of a card) not a joker or wild card
  2. (of a canasta or sequence) containing no wild cards
  3. (of a bid in bridge) describing genuine values; not conventional
based on the principles and findings of human reason and what is to be learned of God from nature rather than on revelationnatural religion


informal a person or thing regarded as certain to qualify for success, selection, etcthe horse was a natural for first place
  1. Also called (US): cancelan accidental cancelling a previous sharp or flatUsual symbol:
  2. a note affected by this accidentalCompare flat 1 (def. 35), sharp (def. 19)
pontoon the combination of an ace with a ten or court card when dealt to a player as his or her first two cards
obsolete an imbecile; idiot
Derived Formsnaturalness, 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

Word Origin and History for natural

c.1300, naturel, "of one's inborn character; hereditary, by birth;" early 14c. as "of the world of nature (especially as opposed to man)," from Old French naturel "of nature, conforming to nature; by birth," and directly from Latin naturalis "by birth, according to nature," from natura "nature" (see nature).

From late 15c. as "not miraculous, in conformity with nature." Meaning "easy, free from affectation" is attested from c.1600. Of things, "not artificially created," c.1600. As a euphemism for "illegitimate, bastard" (of children), it is first recorded c.1400, on notion of blood kinship (but not legal status).

Natural science is from late 14c.; natural law is from early 15c. Natural order "apparent order in nature" is from 1690s. Natural childbirth first attested 1933. Natural life, usually in reference to the duration of life, is from late 15c. Natural history is from 1560s (see history). To die of natural causes is from 1570s.


"person with a natural gift or talent," 1925, originally in prizefighting, from natural (adj.). In Middle English, the word as a noun meant "natural capacity, physical ability or power" (early 14c.), and it was common in sense "a native of a place" in Shakespeare's day. Also in 17c., "a mistress."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with natural


see under big as life.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.