[ uhn-nach-er-uhl, -nach-ruhl ]
/ 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.

Nearby words

  1. unmuzzled,
  2. unmyelinated,
  3. unmyelinated fiber,
  4. unnail,
  5. unnamed,
  6. unnaturally,
  7. unnecessary,
  8. unneeded,
  9. unnerve,
  10. unnerving

Origin of unnatural

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at un-1, natural

Related formsun·nat·u·ral·ly, adverbun·nat·u·ral·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unnatural

British Dictionary definitions for unnatural


/ (ʌnˈnætʃərəl, -ˈnætʃrəl) /


contrary to nature; abnormal
not in accordance with accepted standards of behaviour or right and wrongunnatural love
uncanny; supernaturalunnatural phenomena
affected or forcedan unnatural manner
inhuman or monstrous; wickedan unnatural crime
obsolete illegitimate
Derived Formsunnaturally, adverbunnaturalness, 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 unnatural



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