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the material world, especially as surrounding humankind and existing independently of human activities.
the world as it exists without human beings or civilization:
In nature, wild dogs hunt in packs.
the elements of the natural world, as mountains, trees, animals, or rivers:
The abandoned power plant was reclaimed by nature, covered in overgrowth and home to feral animals.
natural scenery:
Tourists at the resort are surrounded by nature.
the universe, with all its phenomena:
Conservation of energy is a universal law of nature.
the sum total of the forces at work throughout the universe.
reality, as distinguished from any effect of art:
a portrait true to nature.
the particular combination of qualities belonging to a person, animal, thing, or class by birth, origin, or constitution; native or inherent character:
human nature.
the instincts or inherent tendencies directing conduct:
a man of good nature.
character, kind, or sort:
two books of the same nature.
characteristic disposition; temperament:
a self-willed nature; an evil nature.
the original, natural, uncivilized condition of humankind.
the biological functions or the urges to satisfy their requirements.
a primitive, wild condition; an uncultivated state.
a simple, uncluttered mode of life without the conveniences or distractions of civilization:
a return to nature.
(initial capital letter, italics) a prose work (1836), by Ralph Waldo Emerson, expounding transcendentalism.
Theology. the moral state as unaffected by grace.
by nature, as a result of inborn or inherent qualities; innately:
She is by nature a kindhearted person.
in a state of nature,

in an uncivilized or uncultured condition.
without clothes; nude; naked.

of / in the nature of, having the character or qualities of:
in the nature of an apology.
Contemporary Examples

Such is the nature of justice in the U.S. District of Massachusetts.
‘You’re a F—cking Liar’: Whitey Bulger and the FBI’s Sordid History T.J. English June 30, 2013

According to the International Union for Conservation of nature, the animal is “teetering on the brink of extinction.”
Borana Joins the Fight to Save Kenya’s Rhinos…and Wants You to Help Too Joanna Eede February 17, 2014

The first loop of the introductory video concluded with a series of nature scenes.
At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a Steady Drip of Toxic Trouble Eric Nusbaum February 23, 2013

The second deals with the nature of the love affair that is central to the script.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days David Freeman December 12, 2014

A paper published this week in the journal nature Photonics explained how.
We Can Create Matter from Light?! Matthew R. Francis May 19, 2014

Historical Examples

But I would like you to know into what sort of struggle you are going: learn its nature from one who knows.
Anabasis Xenophon

He was disposed to think more favourably of the nature of the country.
Explorations in Australia John Forrest

Yes, according to our poor rules; but according to nature, it is another matter.
Diderot and the Encyclopdists John Morley

I refer, of course, to man’s mastery over the latent forces of nature.
‘Tis Sixty Years Since Charles Francis Adams

But we who do the old things are fed by nature with a perpetual infancy.
The Napoleon of Notting Hill Gilbert K. Chesterton

the fundamental qualities of a person or thing; identity or essential character
(often capital, esp when personified) the whole system of the existence, arrangement, forces, and events of all physical life that are not controlled by man
all natural phenomena and plant and animal life, as distinct from man and his creations
a wild primitive state untouched by man or civilization
natural unspoilt scenery or countryside
disposition or temperament
tendencies, desires, or instincts governing behaviour
the normal biological needs or urges of the body
sort; kind; character
the real appearance of a person or thing: a painting very true to nature
accepted standards of basic morality or behaviour
(biology) the complement of genetic material that partly determines the structure of an organism; genotype Compare nurture (sense 3)
(Irish) sympathy and fondness for one’s own people or native place: she is full of nature
against nature, unnatural or immoral
by nature, essentially or innately
(informal, euphemistic or jocular) call of nature, the need to urinate or defecate
from nature, using natural models in drawing, painting, etc
in the nature of, of the nature of, essentially the same as; by way of

late 13c., “restorative powers of the body, bodily processes; powers of growth;” from Old French nature “nature, being, principle of life; character, essence,” from Latin natura “course of things; natural character, constitution, quality; the universe,” literally “birth,” from natus “born,” past participle of nasci “to be born,” from PIE *gene- “to give birth, beget” (see genus).

From late 14c. as “creation, the universe;” also “heredity, birth, hereditary circumstance; essential qualities, innate disposition” (e.g. human nature); “nature personified, Mother Nature.” Specifically as “material world beyond human civilization or society” from 1660s. Nature and nurture have been contrasted since 1874.

Nature should be avoided in such vague expressions as ‘a lover of nature,’ ‘poems about nature.’ Unless more specific statements follow, the reader cannot tell whether the poems have to do with natural scenery, rural life, the sunset, the untouched wilderness, or the habits of squirrels.” [Strunk & White, “The Elements of Style,” 3rd ed., 1979]


The world and its naturally occurring phenomena, together with all of the physical laws that govern them.

Living organisms and their environments.

has the X nature

call of nature
good nature
second nature


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