Date: 1200-1300
Language: French
Origin: Latin natura, from natus; NATION


na‧ture S1 W1

plants/animals etc

also Nature [uncountable]HBHE everything in the physical world that is not controlled by humans, such as wild plants and animals, earth and rocks, and the weather:
We grew up in the countryside, surrounded by the beauties of nature.
nature conservation
the laws/forces of nature
The inhabitants of the island fight a constant battle against the forces of nature.
in nature
All these materials are found in nature.
Disease is nature's way of keeping the population down.

somebody's character

[uncountable and countable] someone's character:
a child with a happy, easy-going nature
somebody's nature
It's just not in Jane's nature to lie.
by nature
She was by nature a very affectionate person.
I tried appealing to his better nature (=his feelings of kindness) but he wouldn't agree to help us.
Of course she's jealous - it's only human nature (=the feelings and ways of behaving that all people have).

qualities of something

[singular, uncountable] the qualities or features that something has
nature of
They asked a lot of questions about the nature of our democracy.
He examined the nature of the relationship between the two communities.
exact/precise/true nature
The exact nature of the problem is not well understood.
different/political/temporary etc in nature
Any government funding would be temporary in nature.
Capitalist society is by its very nature unstable.


[singular] a particular kind of thing
of a personal/political/difficult etc nature
The support being given is of a practical nature.
of this/that nature
I never trouble myself with questions of that nature.

in the nature of things

according to the natural way things happen:
In the nature of things, there is bound to be the occasional accident.

be in the nature of something

formal to be similar to a type of thing:
The enquiry will be more in the nature of a public meeting than a formal hearing.

let nature take its course

to allow events to happen without doing anything to change the results:
The best cure for a cold is to let nature take its course.

back to nature

a style of living in which people try to live simply and not use modern machines:
city workers who want to get back to nature in their holidays

➔ be/become second nature (to somebody)

at second1 (10)

➔ the call of nature

at call2 (12)

Explore NATURE Topic