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

Essential Meaning of nature

1 : the physical world and everything in it (such as plants, animals, mountains, oceans, stars, etc.) that is not made by people the beauty of nature She is a real nature lover. = She really loves nature. [=she loves to spend time outdoors] See More ExamplesHe devoted himself to the study of nature. That is a color not found in nature. nature photography nature conservationHide
2 : the natural forces that control what happens in the world the forces of nature Hunger is nature's way of telling you to eat. Gravity is one of the basic laws of nature.
3 : the way that a person or animal behaves : the character or personality of a person or animal She has a competitive nature. [=she is competitive] The difference in their natures was easy to see. See More Examplesan animal with a gentle nature [=a gentle animal] The children took advantage of the teacher's good nature. [=the teacher's kindness] She's very competitive by nature.Hide

Full 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 In nature, such reactions can take a very long time or may not happen at all. Josh Fischman, Scientific American, 6 Oct. 2021 This all suggests that recent concerns over light subscriber growth in the first half of 2021 tied to a content slate that had been impaired by production limitations imposed by the pandemic, are likely to be transitory in nature. Trefis Team, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Scientific inquiry is an attempt to answer questions about processes that people observe in nature. Steven D. Munger, The Conversation, 5 Oct. 2021 In nature the process is called recombination—a virus exchanges chunks of itself with another closely related virus when both infect the same cell. Richard Muller And Steven Quay, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2021 Officers determined the fight was not physical in nature and there were no injuries. Brian Lisik, cleveland, 4 Oct. 2021 This article is meant to be educational in nature and isn't a substitute for actual medical or treatment advice from a licensed professional. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 3 Oct. 2021 Spending time in nature is good for us (and kids, too). Ashley Strickland, CNN, 2 Oct. 2021 That positivity, for Gomez, can often be found in nature. Los Angeles Times, 1 Oct. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near nature

natura non facit saltum



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Statistics for nature

Last Updated

8 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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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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