Definition of natural history in English:

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natural history


[mass noun]
1The scientific study of animals or plants, especially as concerned with observation rather than experiment, and presented in popular form.
Example sentences
  • The natural history of animal inebriation has been documented anecdotally, but has received no scientific attention.
  • Scientists are shifting their attention from natural history studies to questions about how best to conserve isolated and declining populations.
  • This field blends laboratory physiology, with its emphasis on controlled experimental designs, and natural history.
1.1The study of the whole natural world, including mineralogy and palaeontology.
Example sentences
  • I came to the profession of letters via the study of natural history, palaeontology, and medicine.
  • He was a true scholar, with interests in mineralogy, physics, natural history, chemistry, mathematics, and languages.
  • Several of the drawers under the bookcases and in the medal cabinet in the Library are still packed with minerals and natural history specimens, including large pieces of coral, crystals, fossils and animal bones.
1.2Natural phenomena which are the subject of scientific observation: the area has an abundance of wildlife and natural history
More example sentences
  • Christine said: ‘He cares passionately about wildlife and natural history and has always been interested in bats.’
  • And during July there will be nature trails - view the flora, fauna and natural history and geology walks - how the landscape was shaped.
  • There are tours of the back country looking at history, natural history and geology
2 Medicine The usual course of development of a disease or condition, especially in the absence of treatment: the natural history of cervical cancer among older women
More example sentences
  • Knowledge of the age-related prevalence and natural history of cervical cancer precursors in women has guided the development of cervical cancer screening strategies for women.
  • The natural history of disease and response to treatment may be related to the genotype of HCV in a particular patient.
  • Define the risk factors (host/genetic and environmental) that affect the occurrence and natural history of the disease.


natural historian

Example sentences
  • A prolific letter writer, Blanche would send letters off to ornithologists, natural historians and horticulturists around the world, asking for and giving advice.
  • Baker claims, ‘The theory of natural selection… postulates a causal relation wholly unappreciated by natural historians before Darwin.’
  • When you read the eighteenth-century natural historians, they talk about clothing and beards and skin color all in the same paragraph.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: nat|ural his|tory

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