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

They were fed up with the bureaucratic nature of the European Union. Fox News, "UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on NATO, Russia and Brexit," 13 July 2018 By loaning players to teams in the Championship or lower, young players are able to familiarise themselves with the physical nature of the English game against seasoned professionals, instead of their peers., "England's World Cup Success Demonstrates the Importance of the Loan System to Player Development," 12 July 2018 Due to the nature of the charges, the South Florida Sun Sentinel is not identifying the woman. Marc Freeman,, "Deputy wants mistrial in his sexual assault case," 11 July 2018 By nature, tough-acting, melt-proof options tend to be drier, clump faster, and leave your lashes feeling brittle and hard. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "The Best Waterproof Mascaras, According to Glamour Editors," 10 July 2018 But making further headway is stymied by the nature of the problem. Jon Marcus, star-telegram, "More high school grads than ever are going to college, but 1 in 5 will quit," 7 July 2018 But Taylor says when donations eventually lead to a study or report that is publicly available, failing to disclose the donor’s name and amount could raise questions about the nature of the relationship between the donor and the foundation. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "U.S. lawmakers want NIH and CDC foundations to say more about donors," 29 June 2018 See: Epic Birds 1 / 32 View Images The flamingos live in an open-air enclosure, which by its nature can be infiltrated by aerial predators like hawks that wouldn’t hesitate to raid a flamingo nest. National Geographic, "What Does It Take to Raise a Flamingo?," 25 June 2018 The objective is to de-stress, heighten your senses, and connect with nature. Tiffany Thornton, USA TODAY, "Geodesic domes bring nature’s beauty indoors," 21 June 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

22 Sep 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



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


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

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


not any or not one

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