- 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
- against nature ⇒ unnatural or immoral
- by nature ⇒ essentially or innately
- call of nature ⇒ informal euphemistic or jocular 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
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
- [uncountable] the natural world as it exists without human beings or civilization;
the elements of the natural world, as mountains, trees, animals, or rivers.
- [uncountable] the laws and principles that guide the universe or an individual.
- the native character that is part of someone or something[countable]It is a cat's nature to keep itself clean.
- character, kind, type, or sort: [countable; usually singular]What is the nature of your business here?[uncountable; often: in + ~]The problems are economic in nature.
temperament[countable]an evil nature; a kind, loving nature.
- the simple or primitive condition of humankind before modern civilization[uncountable]to return to nature to live.
- Idiomsby nature, as a result of inborn or inherent qualities; innately.
- call of nature, [countable] the need to urinate or defecate.
- second nature, [uncountable] a habit or way of acting or thinking that has become part of the character of a person:He has been a police officer for so long that dealing with emergencies has become second nature to him.
- the material world, esp. as surrounding humankind and existing independently of human activities.
- the natural world as it exists without human beings or civilization.
- the elements of the natural world, as mountains, trees, animals, or rivers.
- natural scenery.
- the universe, with all its phenomena.
- Philosophythe 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.
- Biologythe 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.
- Philosophy(cap., italics) a prose work (1836), by Ralph Waldo Emerson, expounding transcendentalism.
- Religion[Theol.]the moral state as unaffected by grace.
- Idiomsby nature, as a result of inborn or inherent qualities; innately:She is by nature a kindhearted person.
- in an uncivilized or uncultured condition.
- without clothes;
- Idiomsof or in the nature of, having the character or qualities of:in the nature of an apology.
- Latin nātūra conditions of birth, quality, character, natural order, world, equivalent. to nāt(us) (past participle of nāscī to be born) + -ūra -ure
- Old French
- Middle English natur(e) 1200–50