[nach-er-uhl, nach-ruhl]
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  1. existing in or formed by nature (opposed to artificial): a natural bridge.
  2. based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: Growth is a natural process.
  3. of or relating to nature or the universe: natural beauty.
  4. of, relating to, or occupied with the study of natural science: conducting natural experiments.
  5. in a state of nature; uncultivated, as land.
  6. growing spontaneously, without being planted or tended by human hand, as vegetation.
  7. having undergone little or no processing and containing no chemical additives: natural food; natural ingredients.Compare organic(def 11).
  8. having a real or physical existence, as opposed to one that is spiritual, intellectual, fictitious, etc.
  9. of, relating to, or proper to the nature or essential constitution: natural ability.
  10. proper to the circumstances of the case: a natural result of his greed.
  11. free from affectation or constraint: a natural manner.
  12. arising easily or spontaneously: a natural courtesy to strangers.
  13. consonant with the nature or character of.
  14. in accordance with the nature of things: It was natural that he should hit back.
  15. based upon the innate moral feeling of humankind: natural justice.
  16. in conformity with the ordinary course of nature; not unusual or exceptional.
  17. happening in the ordinary or usual course of things, without the intervention of accident, violence, etc.
  18. related only by birth; of no legal relationship; illegitimate: a natural son.
  19. related by blood rather than by adoption.
  20. based on what is learned from nature rather than on revelation.
  21. true to or closely imitating nature: a natural representation.
  22. unenlightened or unregenerate: the natural man.
  23. being such by nature; born such: a natural fool.
  24. Music.
    1. neither sharp nor flat.
    2. changed in pitch by the sign ♮.
  25. not treated, tanned, refined, etc.; in its original or raw state: natural wood; natural cowhide.
  26. (of a horn or trumpet) having neither side holes nor valves.
  27. not tinted or colored; undyed.
  28. having a pale tannish or grayish-yellow color, as many woods and untreated animal skins.
  29. Cards.
    1. being a card other than a wild card or joker.
    2. (of a set or sequence of cards) containing no wild cards.
  30. having or showing feelings, as affection, gratitude, or kindness, considered part of basic human nature.
  31. Afro(def 1).
  1. any person or thing that is or is likely or certain to be very suitable to and successful in an endeavor without much training or difficulty.
  2. Music.
    1. a white key on a piano, organ, or the like.
    2. the sign ♮, placed before a note, canceling the effect of a previous sharp or flat.
    3. a note affected by a ♮, or a tone thus represented.
  3. an idiot.
  4. Cards. blackjack(def 2b).
  5. Afro(def 2).
  6. (in craps) a winning combination of seven or eleven made on the first cast.
  7. a natural substance or a product made with such a substance: an ointment containing mink oil and other naturals.

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

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for natural

Contemporary Examples of natural

Historical Examples of natural

British Dictionary definitions for natural


  1. of, existing in, or produced by naturenatural science; natural cliffs
  2. in accordance with human natureit is only natural to want to be liked
  3. as is normal or to be expected; ordinary or logicalthe natural course of events
  4. not acquired; innatea natural gift for sport
  5. being so through innate qualitiesa natural leader
  6. not supernatural or strangenatural phenomena
  7. not constrained or affected; genuine or spontaneous
  8. not artificially dyed or coloureda natural blonde
  9. following or resembling nature or life; lifelikeshe looked more natural without her make-up
  10. not affected by man or civilization; uncultivated; wildin the natural state this animal is not ferocious
  11. being or made from organic material; not synthetica natural fibre like cotton
  12. illegitimate; born out of wedlock
  13. not adopted but rather related by bloodher natural parents
  14. music
    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)
  15. 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
  16. determined by inborn convictionnatural justice; natural rights
  17. cards
    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
  18. based on the principles and findings of human reason and what is to be learned of God from nature rather than on revelationnatural religion
  1. informal a person or thing regarded as certain to qualify for success, selection, etcthe horse was a natural for first place
  2. music
    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)
  3. pontoon the combination of an ace with a ten or court card when dealt to a player as his or her first two cards
  4. 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.