1 a thing's or person's innate or essential qualities or character (not in their nature to be cruel; is the nature of iron to rust).
2 (often Nature) a the physical power causing all the phenomena of the material world (Nature is the best physician). b these phenomena, including plants, animals, landscape, etc. (nature gives him comfort).
3 a kind, sort, or class (things of this nature).
4 = human nature.
5 a a specified element of human character (the rational nature; our animal nature). b a person of a specified character (even strong natures quail).
6 a an uncultivated or wild area, condition, community, etc. b the countryside, esp. when picturesque.
7 inherent impulses determining character or action.
8 heredity as an influence on or determinant of personality (opp. NURTURE).
9 a living thing's vital functions or needs (such a diet will not support nature).
Phrases and idioms:
against nature unnatural; immoral. against (or contrary to) nature miraculous; miraculously. back to nature returning to a pre-civilized or natural state. by nature innately. from nature Art using natural objects as models. human nature general human characteristics, feelings, etc. in nature
1 actually existing.
2 anywhere; at all. in (or of) the nature of characteristically resembling or belonging to the class of (the answer was in the nature of an excuse).
in a state of nature
1 in an uncivilized or uncultivated state.
2 totally naked.
3 in an unregenerate state. law of nature = natural law 2. nature cure = NATUROPATHY. nature-printing a method of producing a print of leaves etc. by pressing them on a prepared plate. nature reserve a tract of land managed so as to preserve its flora, fauna, physical features, etc. nature study the practical study of plant and animal life etc. as a school subject. nature trail a signposted path through the countryside designed to draw attention to natural phenomena.
Etymology: ME f. OF f. L natura f. nasci nat- be born
Useful english dictionary. 2012.