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nature

[ney-cher] /ˈneɪ tʃər/
noun
1.
the material world, especially as surrounding humankind and existing independently of human activities.
2.
the natural world as it exists without human beings or civilization.
3.
the elements of the natural world, as mountains, trees, animals, or rivers.
4.
natural scenery.
5.
the universe, with all its phenomena.
6.
the sum total of the forces at work throughout the universe.
7.
reality, as distinguished from any effect of art:
a portrait true to nature.
8.
the particular combination of qualities belonging to a person, animal, thing, or class by birth, origin, or constitution; native or inherent character:
human nature.
9.
the instincts or inherent tendencies directing conduct:
a man of good nature.
10.
character, kind, or sort:
two books of the same nature.
11.
characteristic disposition; temperament:
a self-willed nature; an evil nature.
12.
the original, natural, uncivilized condition of humankind.
13.
the biological functions or the urges to satisfy their requirements.
14.
a primitive, wild condition; an uncultivated state.
15.
a simple, uncluttered mode of life without the conveniences or distractions of civilization:
a return to nature.
16.
(initial capital letter, italics) a prose work (1836), by Ralph Waldo Emerson, expounding transcendentalism.
17.
Theology. the moral state as unaffected by grace.
Idioms
18.
by nature, as a result of inborn or inherent qualities; innately:
She is by nature a kindhearted person.
19.
in a state of nature,
  1. in an uncivilized or uncultured condition.
  2. without clothes; nude; naked.
20.
of / in the nature of, having the character or qualities of:
in the nature of an apology.
Origin
1200-1250
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
Related forms
naturelike, adjective
antinature, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for nature
  • It is the fundamental tool by which nature adds flavor, color, mood to the variety of our daily experience.
  • She kept close guard, as was her nature, a kind of partner to help him make it through the cold.
  • Even with nature he was tense and agonized.
  • Preservation of nature was a concern for Burgess throughout his life.
  • All her books deal with human relationships to nature.
  • Discover the wonders of nature on a barrier island.
  • This fine sourcebook offers a worldwide view of nature in danger.
  • We depend on nature and animals to survive.
  • To the early pop artists, culture seemed to have arrived at the moment where it had finally overtaken nature.
  • We depend on nature no matter where we are.
British Dictionary definitions for nature

nature

/ˈneɪtʃə/
noun
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) the complement of genetic material that partly determines the structure of an organism; genotype Compare nurture (sense 3)
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 or jocular) 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
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Latin nātūra, from nātus, past participle of nascī to be born
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nature
n.

late 13c., "restorative powers of the body, bodily processes; powers of growth;" from Old French nature "nature, being, principle of life; character, essence," from Latin natura "course of things; natural character, constitution, quality; the universe," literally "birth," from natus "born," past participle of nasci "to be born," from PIE *gene- "to give birth, beget" (see genus).

From late 14c. as "creation, the universe;" also "heredity, birth, hereditary circumstance; essential qualities, innate disposition" (e.g. human nature); "nature personified, Mother Nature." Specifically as "material world beyond human civilization or society" from 1660s. 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]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nature in Science
nature
  (nā'chər)   
  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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nature in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Idioms and Phrases with nature
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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