in a state of nature


the material world, especially 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.
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.

1200–50; Middle English natur(e) < Old French < Latin nātūra conditions of birth, quality, character, natural order, world, equivalent to nāt(us) (past participle of nāscī to be born) + -ūra -ure

naturelike, adjective
antinature, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nature (ˈneɪtʃə)
1.  the fundamental qualities of a person or thing; identity or essential character
2.  (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
3.  all natural phenomena and plant and animal life, as distinct from man and his creations
4.  a wild primitive state untouched by man or civilization
5.  natural unspoilt scenery or countryside
6.  disposition or temperament
7.  tendencies, desires, or instincts governing behaviour
8.  the normal biological needs or urges of the body
9.  sort; kind; character
10.  the real appearance of a person or thing: a painting very true to nature
11.  accepted standards of basic morality or behaviour
12.  biology Compare nurture the complement of genetic material that partly determines the structure of an organism; genotype
13.  (Irish) sympathy and fondness for one's own people or native place: she is full of nature
14.  against nature unnatural or immoral
15.  by nature essentially or innately
16.  informal, euphemistic, jocular or call of nature the need to urinate or defecate
17.  from nature using natural models in drawing, painting, etc
18.  in the nature of, of the nature of essentially the same as; by way of
[C13: via Old French from Latin nātūra, from nātus, past participle of nascī to be born]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "essential qualities, innate disposition," also "creative power in the material world," from O.Fr. nature, from L. natura "course of things, natural character, the universe," lit. "birth," from natus "born," pp. of nasci "to be born," from PIE *gene- "to give birth, beget" (see
genus). Original sense is in human nature. Meaning "inherent, dominating power or impulse" of a person or thing is from c.1386. Contrasted with art since 1704. 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]
Naturist "participant in the movement for communal nudity" is from 1929.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
nature   (nā'chər)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The world and its naturally occurring phenomena, together with all of the physical laws that govern them.

  2. Living organisms and their environments.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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