[uhn-nach-er-uhl, -nach-ruhl]
See more synonyms for unnatural on Thesaurus.com
  1. contrary to the laws or course of nature.
  2. at variance with the character or nature of a person, animal, or plant.
  3. at variance with what is normal or to be expected: the unnatural atmosphere of the place.
  4. lacking human qualities or sympathies; monstrous; inhuman: an obsessive and unnatural hatred.
  5. not genuine or spontaneous; artificial or contrived: a stiff, unnatural manner.
  6. Obsolete. lacking a valid or natural claim; illegitimate.

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

Synonyms for unnatural

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unnaturalness

Historical Examples of unnaturalness

  • Which is where the unnaturalness of “cultured” folk sometimes helps.

    Working With the Working Woman

    Cornelia Stratton Parker

  • This is simply infamous and Nature teaches its infamy and unnaturalness.

  • We were, of course, blissfully ignorant of the unnaturalness of the process.

    Birds of the Plains

    Douglas Dewar

  • It makes my tender heart bleed to think of his unnaturalness.


    B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon

  • My own chief objection to Morrow's story is (as I apprised him) its unnaturalness.

British Dictionary definitions for unnaturalness


  1. contrary to nature; abnormal
  2. not in accordance with accepted standards of behaviour or right and wrongunnatural love
  3. uncanny; supernaturalunnatural phenomena
  4. affected or forcedan unnatural manner
  5. inhuman or monstrous; wickedan unnatural crime
  6. 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 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