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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The idea of a flat Earth is a good place to start with this, given that the evidence for its spherical nature goes back to long before the existence of science as an organized activity. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Why does flat Earth belief still exist?," 28 Dec. 2018 Sweni’s recent pristine overhaul by Cécile & Boyd avoids all safari cliches, and is instead taking its cues, art and textiles from the vibrant surrounding communities and nature itself. Pilar Guzmán, Condé Nast Traveler, "South Africa’s Other Big Five," 20 Dec. 2018 In the original series, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sabrina's pet cat and confidant is an animatronic puppet who's hilarious quips and memeable nature pretty much made the show. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Season 2," 6 Dec. 2018 The following year the family relocated once more—to Woodland, Washington, where Jen bragged of their greenhouse, a coterie of farm animals, and the nature that enveloped their home. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 1: Fear," 4 Dec. 2018 That enables riders with mobility impairment to be able to take these anywhere a pedestrian is allowed to walk—including local parks, state parks, and nature trails. Charlie Lapastora, Fox News, "ATV 'wheelchairs' allow people with mobility issues to go off-roading," 27 Sep. 2018 And while the new series is less scary than that ’78 film, this is still nature red in tooth and claw. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Netflix’s Watership Down Is Not (Really) for Kids—And That’s a Good Thing," 22 Dec. 2018 Dosage designations are noted from the sweetest to the driest: doux, demi-sec, sec, extra-sec, brut, extra brut, and brut nature, also known as non-dosage. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Everything You Need to Know About Brut Champagne," 21 Dec. 2018 Its free-to-play nature, combined with developer Epic Games’ breakneck update pace, allowed the game to flourish, constantly changing in ways both obvious and unexpected. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The year in Fortnite," 18 Dec. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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?

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on nature

What made you want to look up nature? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!