Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Present in or produced by nature: a natural pearl.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or concerning nature: a natural environment.
  • adj. Conforming to the usual or ordinary course of nature: a natural death.
  • adj. Not acquired; inherent: Love of power is natural to some people.
  • adj. Having a particular character by nature: a natural leader.
  • adj. Biology Not produced or changed artificially; not conditioned: natural immunity; a natural reflex.
  • adj. Characterized by spontaneity and freedom from artificiality, affectation, or inhibitions. See Synonyms at naive.
  • adj. Not altered, treated, or disguised: natural coloring; natural produce.
  • adj. Faithfully representing nature or life.
  • adj. Expected and accepted: "In Willie's mind marriage remained the natural and logical sequence to love” ( Duff Cooper).
  • adj. Established by moral certainty or conviction: natural rights.
  • adj. Being in a state regarded as primitive, uncivilized, or unregenerate.
  • adj. Related by blood: the natural parents of the child.
  • adj. Born of unwed parents: a natural child.
  • adj. Mathematics Of or relating to positive integers, sometimes including zero.
  • adj. Music Not sharped or flatted.
  • adj. Music Having no sharps or flats.
  • n. One having all the qualifications necessary for success: You are a natural for this job.
  • n. One suited by nature for a certain purpose or function: She is a natural at mathematics.
  • n. Music The sign (♮) placed before a note to cancel a preceding sharp or flat.
  • n. Music A note so affected.
  • n. A yellowish gray to pale orange yellow.
  • n. Games A combination in certain card and dice games that wins immediately.
  • n. An Afro hairstyle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. That exists and evolved within the confines of an ecosystem.
  • adj. Of or relating to nature.
  • adj. Without artificial additives.
  • adj. As expected.
  • adj. Neither sharp nor flat. Denoted ♮.
  • adj. Without, or prior to, modification or adjustment.
  • adj. without a condom
  • n. One with a simple mind; a fool or idiot.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Fixed or determined by nature; pertaining to the constitution of a thing; belonging to native character; according to nature; essential; characteristic; innate; not artificial, foreign, assumed, put on, or acquired
  • adj. Conformed to the order, laws, or actual facts, of nature; consonant to the methods of nature; according to the stated course of things, or in accordance with the laws which govern events, feelings, etc.; not exceptional or violent; legitimate; normal; regular
  • adj. Having to do with existing system to things; dealing with, or derived from, the creation, or the world of matter and mind, as known by man; within the scope of human reason or experience; not supernatural
  • adj. Conformed to truth or reality.
  • adj. Springing from true sentiment; not artificial or exaggerated; -- said of action, delivery, etc.
  • adj. Resembling the object imitated; true to nature; according to the life; -- said of anything copied or imitated.
  • adj. Having the character or sentiments properly belonging to one's position; not unnatural in feelings.
  • adj. Connected by the ties of consanguinity.
  • adj. Begotten without the sanction of law; born out of wedlock; illegitimate; bastard.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the lower or animal nature, as contrasted with the higher or moral powers, or that which is spiritual; being in a state of nature; unregenerate.
  • adj. Belonging to, to be taken in, or referred to, some system, in which the base is 1; -- said of certain functions or numbers
  • adj.
  • adj. Produced by natural organs, as those of the human throat, in distinction from instrumental music.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to a key which has neither a flat nor a sharp for its signature, as the key of C major.
  • adj. Applied to an air or modulation of harmony which moves by easy and smooth transitions, digressing but little from the original key.
  • adj. Neither flat nor sharp; -- of a tone.
  • adj. Changed to the pitch which is neither flat nor sharp, by appending the sign ♮.
  • adj. Existing in nature or created by the forces of nature, in contrast to production by man; not made, manufactured, or processed by humans. Opposed to artificial, man-made, manufactured, processed and synthetic.
  • adj. Not processed or refined; in the same statre as that existing in nature.
  • n. A native; an aboriginal.
  • n. Natural gifts, impulses, etc.
  • n. One born without the usual powers of reason or understanding; an idiot.
  • n. A character [♮] used to contradict, or to remove the effect of, a sharp or flat which has preceded it, and to restore the unaltered note.
  • n. A person who has an innate talent that makes success in some specific endeavor, such as sports, much easier than for others.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Being such as one or it is by birth or by nature.
  • By birth merely; not legal; illegitimate; bastard; as, a natural son: a use which dates from the beginning of the seventeenth century.
  • Native; native-born; indigenous: as, natural citizens or subjects.
  • Produced or implanted at birth or when constituted or made; conferred by nature; inherent or innate; not acquired or assumed: as, natural disposition; natural beauty; a natural gait.
  • Born; being such as one or it is from birth.
  • In keeping with or proper to the nature, character, or constitution; belonging to birth or constitution; normal: as, the natural position of the body in sleep; the natural color of the hair; hence, as easy, spontaneous, etc., as if constituting a part of or proceeding from the very nature or constitution: as, oratory was natural to him.
  • Hence Not strained or affected; without affectation, artificiality, or exaggeration; easy; unaffected: applied to persons or to their conduct or manners, etc.
  • Obedient to the better impulses of one's nature; affectionate; kindly.
  • In a state of nature; unregenerate; carnal; physical.
  • Formed, produced, or brought about by nature, or by the operations of the laws of nature; real; not artificial or cultivated: as, natural scenery; a natural bridge.
  • Being in conformity with the taws of nature; happening in the ordinary course of things, without the intervention of accident or violence; regulated or determined by the laws which govern events, actions, etc.: as, natural consequences; a natural death.
  • Of or pertaining to nature; connected with or relating to the existing system of things; treating of or derived from nature as known to man, or the world of matter and mind; belonging to nature: as, natural philosophy or history; natural religion or theology; natural laws.
  • Same as naturalistic, 3.
  • In mathematics, having 1 as the base of the system: applied to a function or number belonging or referred to such a system: as, natural numbers (that is, those beginning with 1); natural sines, cosines, etc. (those taken in arcs whose radii are 1).
  • In music, a term applied either
  • to the diatonic or normal scale of C (see scale); or
  • to an air or modulation of harmony which moves by easy and smooth transitions, changing gradually or but little into nearly related keys; or
  • to music produced by the voice, as distinguished from instrumental music; or
  • to the harmonics or overtones given off by any vibrating body over and above its original sound.
  • Where two different persons, though no agreement express or implied had been made, came into such a relation that the pretor was induced to impute to it some of the legal characteristics of an obligation: for example, the fact of becoming unduly enriched at another person's expense.
  • Where an obligation was imperfect, so that no action could be maintained on it, and yet certain legal effects, which were not the same in all cases, were attributed to it by law. The equivalent English phrase is imperfect obligation.
  • =Syn. 1, 2, and Natal, etc. See native.
  • n. That which is natural to one; natural quality, disposition, or expression.
  • n. A natural gift or endowment.
  • n. One born without the usual faculty of reasoning or understanding; a fool; an idiot.
  • n. A native; an original inhabitant.
  • n. A production of nature.
  • n. An oyster of natural wild growth, not planted.
  • n. In music:
  • n. On the keyboard, a white key (digital) as distinguished from a. black key.
  • n. In notation, the sign ♮, placed before a note to counteract the effect of a sharp or flat in the signature or previously introduced as an accidental.
  • n. A note affected by a ♮, or a tone thus represented.
  • n. A kind of wig worn in England early in the eighteenth century.
  • n. In gaming, anything which wins the stake immediately, such as a throw of 7 or 11 at craps, showing 21 at vingt-et-un, or holding 8 or 9 at baccara. See nick, n., 3.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. existing in or in conformity with nature or the observable world; neither supernatural nor magical
  • adj. existing in or produced by nature; not artificial or imitation
  • adj. functioning or occurring in a normal way; lacking abnormalities or deficiencies
  • adj. (used especially of commodities) being unprocessed or manufactured using only simple or minimal processes
  • adj. unthinking; prompted by (or as if by) instinct
  • n. someone regarded as certain to succeed
  • adj. (of a musical note) being neither raised nor lowered by one chromatic semitone
  • adj. being talented through inherited qualities
  • adj. free from artificiality
  • n. (craps) a first roll of 7 or 11 that immediately wins the stake
  • n. a notation cancelling a previous sharp or flat
  • adj. related by blood; not adopted
  • adj. in accordance with nature; relating to or concerning nature

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin nātūrālis, from nātūra, nature; see nature.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French, from Latin nātūrālis, from nātus, the perfect participle of nāscor ("I am born"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Not because so many Americans are ignorant bible-thumping bigots, but because they have a healthy and natural aversion to homosexuality - an aversion *placed there by nature* because it isn't *natural* for people of the same gender to have sexual relations.

    The Mega Collector's Reluctant Dragon

  • It might be thought that there is nothing that can be done to begin a discussion of natural law theory in ethics other than to stipulate a meaning for ˜natural law theory™ and to proceed from there.

    The Natural Law Tradition in Ethics

  • Most often, ˜non-naturalism™ denotes the metaphysical thesis that moral properties exist and are not identical with or reducible to any natural property or properties in some interesting sense of ˜natural™.

    Moral Non-Naturalism

  • Since the natural end of each person is to achieve moral and spiritual perfection, it is necessary to have the means to do so, i.e., to have rights which, since they serve to realise his or her nature, are called ˜natural™.

    Jacques Maritain

  • Our ˜natural benevolent affections™ guide us to do good toward some small sector of humankind (a small sector composed of our friends, promisees, colleagues, family, etc.), and stifling such natural tendencies would leave only “a very feeble counterpoise to self-love” and thus little from which to develop a more extended and generalized benevolence (434).

    Special Obligations

  • I am frequently asked if the natural instincts of men and women will not guide aright in the selection of a consort, and my answer is yes, if the instincts of men and women _were natural_.

    How to Become Rich A Treatise on Phrenology, Choice of Professions and Matrimony

  • Our natural anticipations deceive us -- I say _natural_ in contra-distinction to extravagant expectations.

    Sermons Preached at Brighton Third Series

  • And when Dr. Martineau talks of the "natural penalties for guilt," and adds that "sin being there, it would be simply monstrous that there should be no suffering and would fully justify the despair which now raises its sickly cry of complaint against the retributory wretchedness of human transgression" (_Study_ II., p. 106), the reply is that there are no such things as "_natural_ penalties for guilt."

    Theism or Atheism The Great Alternative

  • We should not object to that inequality which is natural -- to the superior ability and superior virtue which place one man far above his fellows; but we should object to an immense inequality, _which is not natural_, and which sometimes places the superior man at the mercy and in the service of one who has no ability whatever, -- who is simply born to rule by means of _hereditary wealth_.

    The Arena Volume 4, No. 20, July, 1891

  • The prophecies of the Bible are not vague general denunciations of natural decline and extinction to all the nations of the world, which, if they were merely the exposition of a universal _natural_ law of national death, they would be; nor yet the application of any such natural and inevitable law to some particular nation, denouncing its destruction, without any specification of time, manner, instrument, or cause of its infliction.

    Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity

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