second nature

See more synonyms for second nature on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. an acquired habit or tendency in one's character that is so deeply ingrained as to appear automatic: Neatness is second nature to him.

Origin of second nature

First recorded in 1655–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for second nature

custom, familiarity, habit

Examples from the Web for second nature

Historical Examples of second nature

  • Telling lies is a fault in a boy, an art in a lover, an accomplishment in a bachelor, and second-nature in a married man.

    A Guide to Men

    Helen Rowland

  • She struck more chords, her fingers finding the keys with the second-nature sureness, learned in her months of dreary practice.

    Rough-Hewn

    Dorothy Canfield


British Dictionary definitions for second nature

second nature

noun
  1. a habit, characteristic, etc, not innate but so long practised or acquired as to seem so
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for second nature
n.

late 14c., from Latin secundum naturam "according to nature" (Augustine, Macrobius, etc.), literally "following nature;" from medieval Aristotelian philosophy, contrasted to phenomena that were super naturam ("above nature," such as God's grace), extra naturam ("outside nature"), supra naturam ("beyond nature," such as miracles), contra naturam "against nature," etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with second nature

second nature

A habit or mode of behavior so long practiced that it seems innate, as in Driving in heavy traffic is second nature to Chris. This expression is a shortened form of an ancient proverb, Custom (or usage) is a second nature, first recorded in 1390. It alludes to the fact that very frequently repeating something makes it seem completely natural or inborn.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.