Nat"u*ral (?; 135), a. [OE.
naturel, F. naturel, fr. L. naturalis, fr.
natura. See Nature.] 1. Fixed or
determined by nature; pertaining to the constitution of a thing;
belonging to native character; according to nature; essential;
characteristic; not artificial, foreign, assumed, put on, or
acquired; as, the natural growth of animals or plants; the
natural motion of a gravitating body; natural strength
or disposition; the natural heat of the body; natural
With strong natural sense, and rare force of
2. 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; as, the natural consequence of
crime; a natural death.
What can be more natural than the circumstances
in the behavior of those women who had lost their husbands on this
fatal day? Addison.
3. 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; as, a natural law;
natural science; history, theology.
I call that natural religion which men might
know . . . by the mere principles of reason, improved by
consideration and experience, without the help of
revelation. Bp. Wilkins.
4. Conformed to truth or reality; as:
(a) Springing from true sentiment; not
artificial or exaggerated; -- said of action, delivery, etc.; as, a
natural gesture, tone, etc. (b)
Resembling the object imitated; true to nature; according to the
life; -- said of anything copied or imitated; as, a portrait is
5. Having the character or sentiments
properly belonging to one's position; not unnatural in
To leave his wife, to leave his babes, . . . Shak.
He wants the natural touch.
6. Connected by the ties of
consanguinity. "Natural friends." J. H.
7. Begotten without the sanction of law; born
out of wedlock; illegitimate; bastard; as, a natural
8. 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.
The natural man receiveth not the things of the
Spirit of God. 1 Cor. ii. 14.
9. (Math.) Belonging to, to be taken
in, or referred to, some system, in which the base is 1; -- said or
certain functions or numbers; as, natural numbers, those
commencing at 1; natural sines, cosines, etc., those taken in
arcs whose radii are 1.
10. (Mus.) (a)
Produced by natural organs, as those of the human throat, in
distinction from instrumental music. (b)
Of or pertaining to a key which has neither a flat nor a sharp
for its signature, as the key of C major. (c)
Applied to an air or modulation of harmony which moves by easy
and smooth transitions, digressing but little from the original
key. Moore (Encyc. of Music).
Natural day, the space of twenty-four
-- Natural fats, Natural gas,
etc. See under Fat, Gas. etc. --
Natural Harmony (Mus.), the harmony of
the triad or common chord. -- Natural history,
in its broadest sense, a history or description of nature as a
whole, incuding the sciences of botany, zoölogy,
geology, mineralogy, paleontology,
chemistry, and physics. In recent usage the term is
often restricted to the sciences of botany and zoölogy
collectively, and sometimes to the science of zoology alone. --
Natural law, that instinctive sense of justice
and of right and wrong, which is native in mankind, as distinguished
from specifically revealed divine law, and formulated human law.
-- Natural modulation (Mus.), transition
from one key to its relative keys. -- Natural
order. (Nat. Hist.) See under order.
-- Natural person. (Law) See under
person, n. -- Natural
philosophy, originally, the study of nature in general;
in modern usage, that branch of physical science, commonly called
physics, which treats of the phenomena and laws of matter and
considers those effects only which are unaccompanied by any change of
a chemical nature; -- contrasted with mental and moral
philosophy. -- Natural scale
(Mus.), a scale which is written without flats or
sharps. Model would be a preferable term, as less likely
to mislead, the so-called artificial scales (scales
represented by the use of flats and sharps) being equally natural
with the so-called natural scale -- Natural
science, natural history, in its broadest sense; --
used especially in contradistinction to mental or moral
science. -- Natural selection
(Biol.), a supposed operation of natural laws analogous,
in its operation and results, to designed selection in breeding
plants and animals, and resulting in the survival of the
fittest. The theory of natural selection supposes that this has
been brought about mainly by gradual changes of environment which
have led to corresponding changes of structure, and that those forms
which have become so modified as to be best adapted to the changed
environment have tended to survive and leave similarly adapted
descendants, while those less perfectly adapted have tended to die
out though lack of fitness for the environment, thus resulting in the
survival of the fittest. See Darwinism. --
Natural system (Bot. & Zoöl.), a
classification based upon real affinities, as shown in the structure
of all parts of the organisms, and by their embryology.
It should be borne in mind that the natural
system of botany is natural only in the constitution of its
genera, tribes, orders, etc., and in its grand
-- Natural theology, or Natural
religion, that part of theological science which treats
of those evidences of the existence and attributes of the Supreme
Being which are exhibited in nature; -- distinguished from
revealed religion. See Quotation under Natural,
a., 3. -- Natural vowel, the
vowel sound heard in urn, furl, sir, her,
etc.; -- so called as being uttered in the easiest open position of
the mouth organs. See Neutral vowel, under Neutral and
Guide to Pronunciation, § 17.
Syn. -- See Native.