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a. Not in accordance with what usually occurs in nature: a tree with an unnatural shape.
b. Not included in nature; artificial: detergents and other unnatural chemicals.
a. Deviating from a behavioral or social norm: a child's unnatural attachment to a doll.
b. Brutal or unfeeling: unnatural cruelty.
3. Stilted, affected, or awkward: an unnatural smile.

un·nat′u·ral·ly adv.
un·nat′u·ral·ness n.



against the grain In opposition to one’s basic temperament, against one’s will. In this expression grain refers to the direction of the fibers in wood. Planing across the natural direction of the fibers is difficult. By analogy, the grain has come to mean the human disposition or will, as exemplified in the following:

… and that your minds,
Pre-occupied with what you rather must do
Than what you should made you against the grain
To voice him consul.
(Shakespeare, Coriolanus, II, iii)

A second explanation is that the phrase came from the French contre le gré ‘against the will,’ partially translated into English as against the gré, and so used by Samuel Pepys in his Diary.

fish out of water A person not in his regular environment; one working in a job unrelated to his chosen profession; someone who is restless, fidgety, or discontented because of his surroundings. A fish taken out of water begins flopping about in a desperate attempt to return to its natural habitat. Eventually, the lack of its regular environment kills the fish. Thus, a person who is restless or uncomfortable because of strange surroundings is often likened to a fish out of water.

a square peg in a round hole A person whose job is completely unsuited for him; a person who attempts a project or undertaking which is incompatible with his skills and background; also, a round peg in a square hole. This self-explanatory expression retains frequent use today.

Was there ever a more glaring case of square peg in round hole and round peg in square? (Westminster Gazette, December, 1901)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.unnaturalness - the quality of being unnatural or not based on natural principlesunnaturalness - the quality of being unnatural or not based on natural principles
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
affectedness - the quality of being false or artificial (as to impress others)
artificiality - the quality of being produced by people and not occurring naturally
pretentiousness, pretension, largeness - the quality of being pretentious (behaving or speaking in such a manner as to create a false appearance of great importance or worth)
supernaturalness, supernaturalism - the quality of being attributed to power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces
naturalness - the quality of being natural or based on natural principles; "he accepted the naturalness of death"; "the spontaneous naturalness of his manner"


References in classic literature ?
And the consciousness of this unnaturalness, and the remorse he felt at it, made him even more unnatural.
The unnaturalness of her crime stood out the more harshly by the side of her hard immovability and obstinate silence.
L'amour which the Frenchman worshiped consisted principally in the unnaturalness of his relation to the woman and in a combination of incongruities giving the chief charm to the feeling.
excessiveness and aggressive unnaturalness, Pride and Prejudice and
At the same time, I am curious about the relationship between the two sides of the "double vision" Alber describes in his strategies for negotiating the impossible: on one side, we engage world- and meaning-making strategies to make sense of the unnaturalness of a narrative; on the other side, we sit contemplatively in a state of unknowingness, resisting the interpretive move, and embracing the strangeness of the unnatural.
His previous statements about the unnaturalness of their resistance reveal that he considers the union between them both natural and inevitable.
Media accounts typically dispatched RAF women's rejection of motherhood, for example, with reference either to their purported unnaturalness or to their supposed unambivalent adoption of the RAF's ideology of immersion in underground life.
In this older version published in 1577, Leir overcomes the unkindness and unnaturalness of his daughters Gonorilla and Regan.
Framing synthetic biology: Evolutionary distance, conceptions of nature, and the unnaturalness objection.
And, says Paterson, "People often take that feeling of unnaturalness as a sign that they're doing the wrong thing.
But the unnaturalness of India in its current boundaries has remained the cause of constant friction, conflict and hostilities, underling the illegitimacy of the demand and dream of "Akhand Bharat.
Further, Predestination's protagonist(s) is by no means unlikeable, the problematic undercurrents of monstrosity and unnaturalness merely existing uncomfortably behind Snook's very humane depiction of unbearable loneliness and eventual bitterness in the face of disproportionate suffering.