nature
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈneɪtʃə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈneɪtʃɚ/
  • (Northern England) IPA: /ˈnɛːtʃɐ/
  • (AU) IPA: /ˈnæɪ̯tʃə/
  • (New Zealand) IPA: /ˈnæetʃɘ/, [ˈnæetʃɜ~ˈnɐetʃɜ]
Noun

nature

  1. (uncountable) The natural world; that which consists of all things unaffected by or predating human technology, production, and design. (Compare ecosystem.)
    Nature never lies (i.e. tells untruths).
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 6, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
      {quote-meta/quote
    • 1891, Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying
      Nature has good intentions, of course, but, as Aristotle once said, she cannot carry them out. When I look at a landscape I cannot help seeing all its defects.
  2. The innate characteristics of a thing. What something will tend by its own constitution, to be or do. Distinct from what might be expected or intended.
    • 1920, Herman Cyril McNeile, Bulldog Drummond (novel), Ch.1:
      Being by nature of a cheerful disposition, the symptom did not surprise his servant, late private of the same famous regiment, who was laying breakfast in an adjoining room.
    • 1869, Horatio Alger, Jr., Mark the Match Boy, chapter 16:
      Mark hardly knew whether to believe this or not. He already began to suspect that Roswell was something of a humbug, and though it was not in his nature to form a causeless dislike, he certainly did not feel disposed to like Roswell.
  3. The summary of everything that has to do with biological, chemical and physical states and events in the physical universe.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 8”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      I oft admire / How Nature, wise and frugal, could commit / Such disproportions.
  4. Conformity to that which is natural, as distinguished from that which is artificial, or forced, or remote from actual experience.
    • c. 1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Troylus and Cressida”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iii]:
      One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
  5. Kind, sort; character; quality.
    • A dispute of this nature caused mischief.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter II, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314 ↗, page 0147 ↗:
      Carried somehow, somewhither, for some reason, on these surging floods, were these travelers, of errand not wholly obvious to their fellows, yet of such sort as to call into query alike the nature of their errand and their own relations.
  6. (obsolete) Physical constitution or existence; the vital powers; the natural life.
    • c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene v]:
      my days of nature
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      Oppressed nature sleeps.
  7. (obsolete) Natural affection or reverence.
    • 1703, Alexander Pope, transl., “The Thebais of Statius”, in The Works of Alexander Pope, London: H. Lintont et al., published 1751:
      Have we not seen / The murdering son ascend his parent's bed, / Through violated nature force his way?
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

nature (natures, present participle naturing; past and past participle natured)

  1. (obsolete) To endow with natural qualities.

Nature
Proper noun
  1. The sum of natural forces reified and considered as a sentient being, will, or principle.
    • 1798, William Wordsworth, Lines Written in Early Spring
      To her fair works did Nature link
      The human soul that through me ran;
      And much it grieved my heart to think
      What man has made of man.



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