nature

noun
na·​ture | \ ˈnā-chər How to pronounce nature (audio) \

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 But while the pair have garnered media attention for standing apart from their Republican colleagues, reducing their opposition to Trump’s strike to a simple anti-war stance obscures the nature of the right’s rift on foreign policy. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Ulterior Motives of the Anti-War Right," 10 Jan. 2020 Chang hopes the workshops and the wearable nature of her products will help people feel more comfortable discussing sexuality. Kaya Yurieff, CNN, "CES banned sex tech last year. Now it's all the rage," 9 Jan. 2020 But industrialization changed the nature of work and food production. Time, "Trying to Get in Shape in 2020? Here's the History Behind the Common New Year's Resolution," 8 Jan. 2020 The democratic nature of social media, which provides a platform to anyone and everyone, empowers the spread of falsehoods masquerading as insight. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Social media is full of lies, and the Iran attacks show how dangerous they've become," 8 Jan. 2020 With the greeter gone, the rules shifted the nature of their encirclement. Susan Choi, Harper's magazine, "The Whale Mother," 6 Jan. 2020 Could the diversity of the surroundings influence not just whether or not resistance to phages evolved, but the nature of that resistance? Quanta Magazine, "Biodiversity Alters Strategies of Bacterial Evolution," 6 Jan. 2020 Creators processed grief, anger, and the nature of memory by using tape that felt refreshingly raw and gave listeners the space to draw their own conclusions. Laura Jane Standley, The Atlantic, "The 50 Best Podcasts of 2019," 27 Dec. 2019 No less impressive: LIGO has captivated people the world over, making them curious about esoteric subjects like the nature of space and origin of, well, everything. Popsci Staff, Popular Science, "The best tech of the last decade," 27 Dec. 2019

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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Learn More about nature

Time Traveler for nature

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for nature

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nature.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nature. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for nature

nature

noun
How to pronounce nature (audio)

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 How to pronounce nature (audio) \

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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