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

To people from Yakutia, nature is alive with spirits. Alexey Vasilyev, National Geographic, "How to celebrate summer in the world’s coldest city," 27 June 2019 Such is the nature of the Roberts Court, where Americans must be grateful that democracy’s firefighters chose to do nothing instead of using gasoline. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "A Partisan Supreme Court Upholds Partisan Power," 27 June 2019 The specific nature of the shipments wasn’t immediately clear. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "American Tech Companies Find Ways Around Huawei Ban," 25 June 2019 Underland reflects Macfarlane’s continued interest in language, but the nature of time is also a running theme within the book. Tobias Carroll, Longreads, "‘The Underland Is a Deeply Human Realm’: Getting Down with Robert Macfarlane," 20 June 2019 The White House and Trump Organization did not immediately respond to questions about the nature of that conflict. Washington Post, "Trump defends Acosta but will look into Epstein plea deal," 10 July 2019 The White House and Trump Organization did not immediately respond to questions about the nature of that conflict. Alan Fram, Twin Cities, "Trump defends Labor Secretary Acosta but will look into Epstein plea deal," 9 July 2019 The White House and Trump Organization did not immediately respond to questions about the nature of that conflict. Alan Fram, The Denver Post, "Trump defends Acosta but will look into Epstein plea deal," 9 July 2019 The nature of the way the work has been designed has been for the work to be secret. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "The Underworld of Online Content Moderation," 5 July 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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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 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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