Definition of natural in English:


Syllabification: nat·u·ral
Pronunciation: /ˈnaCHərəl


  • 1Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind: carrots contain a natural antiseptic that fights bacteria natural disasters such as earthquakes
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    • These events are unrelated, and humankind's vulnerability to natural hazards is as old as our species.
    • The natural medicine, derived from onions, is mixed with water and given to Paul through his feeding tube.
    • The challenge was to make the most of the space and improve the existing flow of natural light.
  • 1.1(Of fabric) having a color characteristic of the unbleached and undyed state; off-white.
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    • Aged patina and marble finishes on fabrics will give subtle understated looks to natural fabrics.
    • In the living room, a large multipaned window swagged in natural linen takes center stage.
    • She pinched her cheeks to give them a little more natural colour and moved to leave her room.
  • 2Of or in agreement with the character or makeup of, or circumstances surrounding, someone or something: sharks have no natural enemies
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    • As people encounter new circumstances, the natural tendency is to seek a skilled mentor for guidance.
    • That is a natural extension to the existing role of regulator of civil transport and airports for safety purposes.
    • As they share basic values and are not far apart in their economic development, they are essentially natural partners.
  • 2.1 [attributive] (Of a person) born with a particular skill, quality, or ability: he was a natural entertainer
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    • He's also a former soldier and a natural leader.
    • With tennis you need a certain amount of technique - a natural sportsman wouldn't necessarily beat you.
    • His excellent interpersonal skills and outstanding intellect make him a natural leader.
    born, naturally gifted, untaught
  • 2.2(Of a skill, quality, or ability) coming instinctively to a person; innate: writing appears to demand muscular movements that are not natural to children
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    • She knew what ingredients went into several spells, but didn't have the natural talent that enabled her to perform magic.
    • Agreed - a certain amount of natural skill is required - but that skill needs to be properly nurtured.
    • His strength is possessing skills and natural ability that no modern-era quarterback can match.
  • 2.3(Of a person or their behavior) relaxed and unaffected; spontaneous: he replied with too much nonchalance to sound natural
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    • Nothing seems forced or fabricated, and the way in which they interact as families is natural and genuine.
    • It not only gives it to you raw, but its acting is flawless, very natural and spontaneous and all around very believable.
    • Perhaps this is because they mimic evolved solutions, so their behaviour seems more natural.
    unaffected, spontaneous, uninhibited, relaxed, unselfconscious, genuine, open, artless, guileless, ingenuous, unpretentious, without airs
  • 2.4Occurring as a matter of course and without debate; inevitable: Ken was a natural choice for coach
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    • And, of course, the natural choice was for her to be drawn with a dolphin.
    • These poor deluded racists seem to think that pathologies are the natural course of events for most people.
    • During the natural course of bipolar affective disorder, relapses and recurrences are frequent.
    reasonable, logical, understandable, (only) to be expected, predictable
  • 2.5 [attributive] (Of law or justice) based on innate moral sense; instinctively felt to be right and fair. See also natural law.
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    • This not only impairs the fair market order but also violates the natural rule of justice.
    • As Aquinas explained, law is natural because it is ‘a purpose implanted by the Divine art’.
    • Recently there has been a tendency to revive the rule, although it is no longer based on natural law.
  • 2.6 Bridge (Of a bid) straightforwardly reflecting one’s holding of cards. Often contrasted with conventional or artificial.
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    • This means players cannot take discard pile unless they have two natural cards of that type in hand.
    • You can only take the discard pile if you have a pair of natural cards in your hand which are of the same rank as the top card of the discard pile.
    • Wild cards (jokers and twos) can normally be used in melds as substitutes for natural cards of the appropriate rank.
  • 3 [attributive] (Of a parent or child) related by blood: such adopted children always knew who their natural parents were
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    • How can I stop my parents obviously favouring their natural grandchildren?
    • Hielema has a brother who was also adopted and a sister who was a natural child of the parents who raised him.
    • Due to my natural mum having psychological problems I was put into care when I was just a few days old.
  • 3.1chiefly • archaic Illegitimate: the Baron left a natural son by his mistress
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    • He had had her legitimised as his natural daughter.
    • Fathers also had legal obligations to provide for their natural children.
  • 4 Music (Of a note) not sharped or flatted: [postpositive, in combination]: the bassoon plays G-natural instead of A-flat
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    • A flat, natural, or sharp sign can be placed above it, to indicate a chromatic inflection of the upper note.
  • 4.1(Of a brass instrument) having no valves and able to play only the notes of the harmonic series above a fundamental note.
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    • However, a new dynamic emerges when the natural instrument is left untreated.
    • In that way it's like playing a natural trumpet without valves.
  • 4.2Of or relating to the notes and intervals of the harmonic series.
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    • Perhaps it's the natural harmony in the male-female vocal.
    • A natural harmony singer, she fills that void that a single voice can often leave open.
  • 5 Christian Theology Relating to earthly or unredeemed human or physical nature as distinct from the spiritual or supernatural realm.
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    • From the Renaissance onwards, study of the natural realm was increasingly distinguished from metaphysics.
    • They can exist in material objects, the natural world, spiritual realms, or all of the above.
    • Distinguishing between true and false in this realm is like distinguishing between straight and crooked in the natural realm.


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  • 1A person regarded as having an innate gift or talent for a particular task or activity: she was a natural for the sort of television work required of her
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    • Shannon's looks, which he thoroughly capitalized on, made him a natural for television.
    • For all his appeal, Spidey never seemed a natural for the screen.
    • Then project leader believes Steve is a natural for the job.
  • 1.1A thing that is particularly suited for something: perky musical accompaniment would seem a natural for this series
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    • Their story, combining heart-rending drama and gutsy determination, was a natural for the big screen.
    • Blackpool, with its Las Vegas aspirations and seedy seafront reality, is a natural for television drama.
    • Although it wasn't written for him, the part of Miles Massey seemed a natural for George Clooney.
  • 2 Music A sign (♮) denoting a natural note when a previous sign or the key signature would otherwise demand a sharp or a flat.
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    • Such appearances certainly suggest that the e flat in ex.3 is no scribal error for e natural.
  • 2.1A natural note.
  • 2.2Any of the longer keys on a keyboard instrument that are normally white.
  • 3A creamy beige color.
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    • Colours are powdered pastels, warm naturals, primary colours and unusual accents.
    • I mean, you can see there's a lot of pink in here, accented by naturals.
    • The shop was a sea of cornflower blues and shocking reds, mellow naturals and pastels and mysterious blacks.
  • 4A hand of cards, throw of dice, or other result that wins immediately, in particular.
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    • You must have 2 naturals then you can play as many wild cards as you would like.
    • A two-card hand of nine or a two-card hand of eight are considered naturals and do not take any hits.
  • 4.1A hand of two cards making 21 in the first deal in blackjack and similar games.
  • 4.2A first throw of 7 or 11 at craps.
  • 5 Fishing An insect or other small creature used as bait, rather than an artificial imitation.
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    • When fishing such waters, under such conditions a better option is to go for smaller baits, either naturals or particles.
    • Small imitation naturals and light tippets should be used when fishing low, clear water.
    • Try the shrimp he said, referring to the purple natural, not the fly.
  • 6 archaic A person born with a learning disability.
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    • They were deficient, but probably not to the extent that they might be called naturals or idiots.


informal or • dialect Back to top  
  • Naturally: keep walking—just act natural
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    • She is German, unused to the Hollywood tradition of Barbie-esque perfection, and acts natural.
    • Ry's going to carry scars about that for the rest of her life no matter how natural she might act.


Middle English (in the sense 'having a certain status by birth'): from Old French, from Latin naturalis, from natura 'birth, nature, quality' (see nature).

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