Random House Dictionary

  1. existing in or formed by nature (opposed to artificial ): a natural bridge.
  2. based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: Growth is a natural process.
  3. of or pertaining to nature or the universe: natural beauty.
  4. of, pertaining to, or occupied with the study of natural science: conducting natural experiments.
  5. in a state of nature; uncultivated, as land.
  6. growing spontaneously, without being planted or tended by human hand, as vegetation.

    Origin: L. naturalis


  1. based on an inherent sense of right and wrong <natural justice>
  2. a) being in accordance with or determined by nature  b) having or constituting a classification based on features existing in nature
  3. a) 1. begotten as distinguished from adopted ; also : legitimate 2. being a relation by actual consanguinity as distinguished from adoption <natural parents>  b) illegitimate <a natural child>
  4. having an essential relation with someone or something : following from the nature of the one in question <his guilt is a natural deduction from the evidence>
  5. implanted or being as if implanted by nature : seemingly inborn <a natural talent for art>
  6. of or relating to nature as an object of study and research
  7. having a specified character by nature <a natural athlete>
  8. a) occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature : not marvelous or supernatural <natural causes>  b) formulated by human reason alone rather than revelation <natural religion> <natural rights>  c) having a normal or usual character <events followed their natural course>
  9. possessing or exhibiting the higher qualities (as kindliness and affection) of human nature
  10. a) growing without human care ; also : not cultivated <natural prairie unbroken by the plow>  b) existing in or produced by nature : not artificial <natural turf> <natural curiosities>  c) relating to or being natural food
  11. a) being in a state of nature without spiritual enlightenment : unregenerate <natural man>  b) living in or as if in a state of nature untouched by the influences of civilization and society
  12. a) having a physical or real existence as contrasted with one that is spiritual, intellectual, or fictitious<a corporation is a legal but not a natural person>  b) of, relating to, or operating in the physical as opposed to the spiritual world <natural laws describe phenomena of the physical universe>
  13. a) closely resembling an original : true to nature  b) marked by easy simplicity and freedom from artificiality, affectation, or constraint  c) having a form or appearance found in nature

    Etymology: from Latin naturalis of nature, from natura nature

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.


  1. Present in or produced by nature: a natural pearl.
  2. Of, relating to, or concerning nature: a natural environment.
  3. Conforming to the usual or ordinary course of nature: a natural death.
  4. a) Not acquired; inherent: Love of power is natural to some people.  b) Having a particular character by nature: a natural leader.  c) Biology Not produced or changed artificially; not conditioned: natural immunity; a natural reflex.
  5. Characterized by spontaneity and freedom from artificiality, affectation, or inhibitions. See synonyms at naive.
  6. Not altered, treated, or disguised: natural coloring; natural produce.
  7. Faithfully representing nature or life.
  8. Expected and accepted
  9. Established by moral certainty or conviction: natural rights.
  10. Being in a state regarded as primitive, uncivilized, or unregenerate.
  11. a) Related by blood: the natural parents of the child.  b) Born of unwed parents: a natural child.
  12. Mathematics Of or relating to positive integers, sometimes including zero.


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