nat·u·ral·ism (năchər-ə-lĭz′əm, năchrə-)
1. Factual or realistic representation, especially:
a. The practice of describing precisely the actual circumstances of human life in literature.
b. The practice of reproducing subjects as precisely as possible in the visual arts.
a. A movement or school advocating such precise representation.
b. The principles and methods of such a movement or of its adherents.
3. Philosophy The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.
4. Theology The doctrine that all religious truths are derived from nature and natural causes and not from revelation.
5. Conduct or thought prompted by natural desires or instincts.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.