- the material world, especially as surrounding humankind and existing independently of human activities.
- the natural world as it exists without human beings or civilization: In nature, wild dogs hunt in packs.
- the elements of the natural world, as mountains, trees, animals, or rivers: The abandoned power plant was reclaimed by nature, covered in overgrowth and home to feral animals.
- natural scenery: Tourists at the resort are surrounded by nature.
- the universe, with all its phenomena: Conservation of energy is a universal law of nature.
- the sum total of the forces at work throughout the universe.
- reality, as distinguished from any effect of art: a portrait true to nature.
- the particular combination of qualities belonging to a person, animal, thing, or class by birth, origin, or constitution; native or inherent character: human nature.
- the instincts or inherent tendencies directing conduct: a man of good nature.
- character, kind, or sort: two books of the same nature.
- characteristic disposition; temperament: a self-willed nature; an evil nature.
- the original, natural, uncivilized condition of humankind.
- the biological functions or the urges to satisfy their requirements.
- a primitive, wild condition; an uncultivated state.
- a simple, uncluttered mode of life without the conveniences or distractions of civilization: a return to nature.
- (initial capital letter, italics) a prose work (1836), by Ralph Waldo Emerson, expounding transcendentalism.
- Theology. the moral state as unaffected by grace.
- by nature, as a result of inborn or inherent qualities; innately: She is by nature a kindhearted person.
- in a state of nature,
- in an uncivilized or uncultured condition.
- without clothes; nude; naked.
- of/in the nature of, having the character or qualities of: in the nature of an apology.
Origin of nature
Examples from the Web for nature
The “nature of the crime” was too serious to release him, they said.His First Day Out Of Jail After 40 Years: Adjusting To Life Outside
January 3, 2015
That explanation is believable…but increasingly less so when you hear Jay talk about the nature of his relationship with Adnan.The Deal With Serial’s Jay? He’s Pissed Off, Mucks Up Our Timeline
December 31, 2014
Along the river, crumbling remnants of an active trading hub are overtaken by nature.The Congo's Forgotten Colonial Getaway
December 18, 2014
“Heavy water”, or D2O, is even less common in nature, though nuclear engineers make and use it in some reactors.Are Comets the Origin of Earth’s Oceans?
Matthew R. Francis
December 14, 2014
The second deals with the nature of the love affair that is central to the script.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
"Flattery to ourselves does not change the nature of what is wrong," answered Philothea.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
I refer, of course, to man's mastery over the latent forces of Nature.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
Kate's nature was limited; part of her graceful equipoise was narrowness.
He was disposed to think more favourably of the nature of the country.Explorations in Australia
Absolute directness was a part of her nature; she could die, but not manouvre.
- the fundamental qualities of a person or thing; identity or essential character
- (often capital, esp when personified) the whole system of the existence, arrangement, forces, and events of all physical life that are not controlled by man
- all natural phenomena and plant and animal life, as distinct from man and his creations
- a wild primitive state untouched by man or civilization
- natural unspoilt scenery or countryside
- disposition or temperament
- tendencies, desires, or instincts governing behaviour
- the normal biological needs or urges of the body
- sort; kind; character
- the real appearance of a person or thinga painting very true to nature
- accepted standards of basic morality or behaviour
- biology the complement of genetic material that partly determines the structure of an organism; genotypeCompare nurture (def. 3)
- Irish sympathy and fondness for one's own people or native placeshe is full of nature
- against nature unnatural or immoral
- by nature essentially or innately
- call of nature informal, euphemistic, or jocular the need to urinate or defecate
- from nature using natural models in drawing, painting, etc
- in the nature of or of the nature of essentially the same as; by way of
Word Origin and History for nature
late 13c., "restorative powers of the body, bodily processes; powers of growth;" from Old French nature "nature, being, principle of life; character, essence," from Latin natura "course of things; natural character, constitution, quality; the universe," literally "birth," from natus "born," past participle of nasci "to be born," from PIE *gene- "to give birth, beget" (see genus).
From late 14c. as "creation, the universe;" also "heredity, birth, hereditary circumstance; essential qualities, innate disposition" (e.g. human nature); "nature personified, Mother Nature." Specifically as "material world beyond human civilization or society" from 1660s. Nature and nurture have been contrasted since 1874.
Nature should be avoided in such vague expressions as 'a lover of nature,' 'poems about nature.' Unless more specific statements follow, the reader cannot tell whether the poems have to do with natural scenery, rural life, the sunset, the untouched wilderness, or the habits of squirrels." [Strunk & White, "The Elements of Style," 3rd ed., 1979]
- The world and its naturally occurring phenomena, together with all of the physical laws that govern them.
- Living organisms and their environments.
Idioms and Phrases with nature
see call of nature; good nature; second nature.