Definition of natural in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnatʃ(ə)r(ə)l/


1Existing in or derived from nature; not made or caused by humankind: carrots contain a natural antiseptic natural disasters such as earthquakes
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.1Having had a minimum of processing or preservative treatment: natural food our nutritional products are completely natural
More example sentences
  • A positive way to combat the state of our children's diets is to opt for natural, unprocessed foods.
  • Vegetables with a natural preservative, clay, are well sought after.
  • A natural doctor can assist with nutritional recommendations and natural allergy treatments.
unprocessed, organic, pure, wholesome, unrefined, pesticide-free, chemical-free, additive-free, unbleached, unmixed, real, plain, virgin, crude, raw
1.2(Of fabric) having a colour characteristic of the unbleached and undyed state; off-white.
Example sentences
  • 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.
2In accordance with the nature of, or circumstances surrounding, someone or something: sharks have no natural enemies
More example sentences
  • 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) having an innate skill or quality: he was a natural entertainer
More example sentences
  • 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 or quality) coming instinctively to a person; innate: Laura’s natural adaptability enabled her to settle quickly
More example sentences
  • 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.
innate, inborn, inherent, native, native-born, intrinsic, instinctive, instinctual, intuitive, natural-born, ingrained, built-in;
hereditary, inherited, inbred, congenital
rare connate, connatural
2.3(Of a person or their behaviour) relaxed and unaffected; spontaneous: he replied with just a little too much nonchalance to sound natural
More example sentences
  • 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, straightforward, relaxed, unselfconscious, genuine, open, artless, guileless, ingenuous, unsophisticated, unpretentious, without airs, easy;
unstudied, unforced, uncontrived, unmannered, unstilted, unconstrained
2.4Entirely to be expected: Ken was a natural choice for chairman
More example sentences
  • Even if McLeish claims otherwise, it would be entirely natural for him to prioritise the Champions League over the Premierleague.
  • Boasting about how swimmingly this was going, and how much upstream clout he has, is entirely natural.
  • It is entirely natural for Indians to take pride in the successes of their erstwhile compatriots abroad.
reasonable, logical, understandable, unsurprising, expected, (only) to be expected, predictable;
2.5 [attributive] (Of law or justice) felt instinctively to be morally right and fair: you might feel that holding the teacher responsible for the results contravenes natural justice
More example sentences
  • 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.
3 [attributive] (Of a parent or child) related by blood: such adopted children always knew who their natural parents were
More example sentences
  • 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 (Of a child) illegitimate: the Baron left a natural son by his mistress
More example sentences
  • He had had her legitimised as his natural daughter.
  • Fathers also had legal obligations to provide for their natural children.
illegitimate, born out of wedlock
informal, dated born on the wrong side of the blanket
archaic bastard, misbegotten, baseborn, spurious
rare adulterine
4 Music (Of a note) not sharp or flat: the bassoon plays G natural instead of A flat
More example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • However, a new dynamic emerges when the natural instrument is left untreated.
  • In that way it's like playing a natural trumpet without valves.
4.2Relating to the notes and intervals of the harmonic series.
Example sentences
  • 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 human or physical nature as distinct from the spiritual or supernatural realm.
Example sentences
  • 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.
6 Bridge (Of a bid) straightforwardly reflecting one’s holding of cards: his bid of one heart was natural and positive Often contrasted with conventional or artificial.
More example sentences
  • 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.


1A person having an innate talent for a particular task or activity: she was a natural for television work
More example sentences
  • 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.
2 Music A sign (♮) denoting a natural note when a previous sign or the key signature would otherwise demand a sharp or a flat.
Example sentences
  • 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, lower keys on a keyboard instrument that are normally white.
3 [mass noun] An off-white colour: colour for the summer is defined by the trend towards naturals
More example sentences
  • 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 which wins immediately, in particular:
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • They were deficient, but probably not to the extent that they might be called naturals or idiots.


informal or dialect
Naturally: keep walking—just act natural
More example sentences
  • 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).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: nat|ural

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