nature

noun
na·ture | \ˈnā-chər \

Definition of nature 

1a : the inherent character or basic constitution (see constitution sense 2) of a person or thing : essence the nature of the controversy

b : disposition, temperament it was his nature to look after others— F. A. Swinnerton her romantic nature

2a : a creative and controlling force in the universe

b : an inner force (such as instinct, appetite, desire) or the sum of such forces in an individual

3 : a kind or class usually distinguished by fundamental or essential characteristics documents of a confidential nature acts of a ceremonial nature

4 : the physical constitution or drives of an organism especially : an excretory organ or function used in phrases like the call of nature

5 : a spontaneous attitude (as of generosity)

6 : the external world in its entirety

7a : humankind's original or natural condition

b : a simplified mode of life resembling this condition escape from civilization and get back to nature

8 : the genetically controlled qualities of an organism nature … modified by nurture— E. G. Conklin

9 : natural scenery enjoyed the beauties of nature

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Choose the Right Synonym for nature

type, kind, sort, nature, description, character mean a number of individuals thought of as a group because of a common quality or qualities. type may suggest strong and clearly marked similarity throughout the items included so that each is typical of the group. one of three basic body types kind may suggest natural grouping. a zoo seemingly having animals of every kind sort often suggests some disparagement. the sort of newspaper dealing in sensational stories nature may imply inherent, essential resemblance rather than obvious or superficial likenesses. two problems of a similar nature description implies a group marked by agreement in all details belonging to a type as described or defined. not all acts of that description are actually illegal character implies a group marked by distinctive likenesses peculiar to the type. research on the subject so far has been of an elementary character

Examples of nature in a Sentence

He devoted himself to the study of nature. That is a color not found in nature. Hunger is nature's way of telling you to eat. Gravity is one of the basic laws of nature. She's very competitive by nature.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Critics claimed this would have indefinitely altered the free and open nature of the internet. NBC News, "Fans howl over taking down World Cup Twitter posts for copyright issues," 14 July 2018 But the shock was because of the nature of the workplace that was attacked, not that the attack occurred. Dan Rodricks, baltimoresun.com, "Where have you gone, Mister Rogers?," 13 July 2018 The Friant-Kern’s woes illustrate the enduring nature of California’s water problems. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 This is the nature of the game, especially if the window is open so early – it’s still early. SI.com, "David Wagner Tells Huddersfield Fans to Expect More Summer Signings as Reinforcements Arrive," 13 July 2018 Because of the nature of the charges, the South Florida Sun Sentinel is not identifying her. Marc Freeman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deputy convicted of attempted rape," 13 July 2018 Other research suggests that the nature of the benefit influences attitudes. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 This show captures the singular nature of that quirky space. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 Reflecting the growing partisan nature of politics in the U.S., 40% of Republicans name Trump as one of the top two presidents of their lifetime, compared to just 3% of Democrats. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Barack Obama Is the Greatest President of Our Lifetime, Say 44% of Americans.," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nature.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nature

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for nature

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin natura, from natus, past participle of nasci to be born — more at nation

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Statistics for nature

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nature

The first known use of nature was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for nature

nature

noun

English Language Learners Definition of nature

: the physical world and everything in it (such as plants, animals, mountains, oceans, stars, etc.) that is not made by people

: the natural forces that control what happens in the world

: the way that a person or animal behaves : the character or personality of a person or animal

nature

noun
na·ture | \ˈnā-chər \

Kids Definition of nature

1 : the physical world and everything in it It is one of the most beautiful creatures found in nature.

2 : natural scenery or surroundings We took a hike to enjoy nature.

3 : the basic character of a person or thing Scientists studied the nature of the new substance.

4 : natural feelings : disposition, temperament She has a generous nature.

5 : sort entry 1 sense 1, type What is the nature of your problem?

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Comments on nature

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