second nature


noun

an acquired habit or tendency in one's character that is so deeply ingrained as to appear automatic: Neatness is second nature to him.

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Origin of second nature

First recorded in 1655–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for second nature

  • 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
  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for second nature

second nature

noun

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

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.