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nature Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the essential qualities or characteristics by which something is recognized
    • it is the nature of fire to burn
    • the true nature of jealousy
  2. noun a causal agent creating and controlling things in the universe
    • the laws of nature
    • nature has seen to it that men are stronger than women
  3. noun the natural physical world including plants and animals and landscapes etc.
    • they tried to preserve nature as they found it
  4. noun the complex of emotional and intellectual attributes that determine a person's characteristic actions and reactions
    • it is his nature to help others
  5. noun a particular type of thing
    • problems of this type are very difficult to solve
    • he's interested in trains and things of that nature
    • matters of a personal nature

Na"ture noun
F., fr. L. natura, fr. natus born, produced, p.p. of nasci to be born. See Nation.
  1. The existing system of things; the world of matter, or of matter and mind; the creation; the universe.
    But looks through nature up to nature's God. Pope.
    Nature has caprices which art can not imitate. Macaulay.
  2. The personified sum and order of causes and effects; the powers which produce existing phenomena, whether in the total or in detail; the agencies which carry on the processes of creation or of being; -- often conceived of as a single and separate entity, embodying the total of all finite agencies and forces as disconnected from a creating or ordering intelligence.
    I oft admire How Nature, wise and frugal, could commit Such disproportions. Milton.
  3. The established or regular course of things; usual order of events; connection of cause and effect.
  4. Conformity to that which is natural, as distinguished from that which is artifical, or forced, or remote from actual experience.
    One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. Shak.
  5. The sum of qualities and attributes which make a person or thing what it is, as distinct from others; native character; inherent or essential qualities or attributes; peculiar constitution or quality of being.
    Thou, therefore, whom thou only canst redeem, Their nature also to thy nature join, And be thyself man among men on earth. Milton.
  6. Hence: Kind, sort; character; quality.
    A dispute of this nature caused mischief. Dryden.
  7. Physical constitution or existence; the vital powers; the natural life. "My days of nature." Shak.
    Oppressed nature sleeps. Shak.
  8. Natural affection or reverence.
    Have we not seen The murdering son ascend his parent's bed, Through violated nature foce his way? Pope.
  9. Constitution or quality of mind or character.
    A born devil, on whose nature Nurture can never stick. Shak.
    That reverence which is due to a superior nature. Addison.
Na"ture transitive verb
  1. To endow with natural qualities. Obs.
    He [God] which natureth every kind. Gower.

Webster 1913