Definition of nature
1a : the inherent character or basic constitution (see constitution 2) of a person or thing : essence the nature of the controversyb : disposition, temperament it was his nature to look after others — F. A. Swinnerton her romantic nature
2a : a creative and controlling force in the universeb : 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 conditionb : 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
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 of nature from the Web
UPDATES: 4:29 p.m.: This article was updated with details regarding the nature of the warrant being served and which law enforcement agency is investigating the shooting.
Preschoolers will read, sing, do crafts and have a hands-on nature experience each week with varying themes.
When the space weather is just right, one of nature’s grandest spectacles unfolds over Earth’s poles.
The other habitats — Madagascar Forest, Ethiopian Highlands, West African Forest, Acacia Woodland, and Kopje — will have their own realistic nods to nature, too, as they get rolled out in phases over the summer.
The exact nature of these standards was not immediately clear.
As more people move to urban areas, nature gets farther away.
This move back to nature follows other trends, such as the paleo diet and the rise of the gentleman farmer, that urge us to make like our ancestors and simplify.
For example, both Washington and Oregon are all about bringing nature indoors based off the moody favorites Naturalism and Conifer Green.
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.
Synonym Discussion of nature
NATURE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of nature for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of nature for Students
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.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up nature? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).