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

Definition of nature

1 : the external world in its entirety
2 : natural scenery enjoyed the beauties of nature
3a : disposition, temperament it was his nature to look after others— F. A. Swinnerton her romantic nature
b : the inherent character or basic constitution (see constitution sense 2) of a person or thing : essence the nature of the controversy
4a : humankind's original or natural condition
b : a simplified mode of life resembling this condition escape from civilization and get back to nature
5 : a kind or class usually distinguished by fundamental or essential characteristics documents of a confidential nature acts of a ceremonial nature
6 : the physical constitution or drives of an organism especially : an excretory organ or function used in phrases like the call of nature
7 : the genetically controlled qualities of an organism nature … modified by nurture— E. G. Conklin
8a : 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
9 : a spontaneous attitude (as of generosity)

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.
Recent Examples on the Web But commercial real estate is, and always has been, reactive in nature. Morley Barr, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Delayed two years because of the pandemic, this spring break trip was meant to be an immersion in nature away from our urban Paris home. Mary Winston Nicklin, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 While prior decks were less pictorial in nature, Smith's is filled with lush imagery that makes their interpretation easier for the reader. CNN, 12 May 2022 While the highfin dragonfish recently spotted was a bright iridescent color, most are black, with many having the darkest pigments found in nature, NPR reports. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 May 2022 Samantha’s mother, Christie, told Dateline that her daughter works for the Fresno County Department of Agriculture, is an avid hiker who loves being outdoors in nature. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, 9 May 2022 Madison police spokeswoman Stephanie Fryer told the Wisconsin State Journal that the fire reported shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday in Madison was suspicious in nature. CBS News, 9 May 2022 Instead, businesses are trying to make clear that their concerns are not partisan in nature. M. K. Chin, The Conversation, 9 May 2022 The sheriff’s office said the crime is similar in nature but cannot conclusively say that the two are linked. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 6 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of nature

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

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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Time Traveler for nature

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near nature

natura non facit saltum



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Statistics for nature

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for nature


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?

More from Merriam-Webster on nature

Nglish: Translation of nature for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nature for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about nature


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