nature


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Related to nature: science

freak of nature

Something or someone that is unusual, rare, or abnormal in some way; beyond or outside the natural world. The goat they have at the circus sideshow is a real freak of nature, it was born with two heads! He can lift over 500 pounds in the gym, he's like some freak of nature.
See also: freak, nature, of

allow nature to take its course

To let events develop and conclude naturally, i.e., as they would without outside intervention, help, or interference. The phrase can refer literally to nature or figuratively to manmade situations or events. Though I know people are eager to help those affected by the earthquake, unfortunately we have to allow nature to take its course before anything can be done. We've done as much preparation for the election as we can; we just have to allow nature to take her course tomorrow.
See also: allow, course, nature, take

course of nature

The natural, normal, or ordinary sequence or unfolding of things. The disease has spread so far that there's nothing to do now but let it follow the course of nature. Times of hardship and times of plenty are part of the course of nature for any independent business.
See also: course, nature, of

good nature

A kindly, affable, beneficent, and/or obliging propensity or personality. Mark's good nature has made the death of my mother so much easier to bear. It was thanks to the good nature of my thesis supervisor that I felt so confident writing my dissertation. Margaret has such a good nature, always willing to lend a hand no matter what the task may be.
See also: good, nature

nature's way of (doing something)

A natural biological process by which something is done or accomplished. A fever is just nature's way of telling you that your body is fighting off an infection. A baby's crying when she's born is just nature's way of getting air into her lungs for the first time.
See also: of, way

by nature

Naturally; inherently. Refers to one's traits. I don't think she is a vicious person by nature—growing up in an abusive household just took a toll on her.
See also: nature

debt to nature

A euphemism for death. When I'm ready to pay my debt to nature, I hope I'm surrounded by my family.
See also: debt, nature

answer the call of nature

informal To urinate or defecate. Jim is off answering the call of nature. Wait a minute, I have to go answer the call of nature.
See also: answer, call, nature, of

call of nature

Euph. the need to go to the lavatory. Stop the car here! I have to answer the call of nature. There was no break in the agenda, not even for the call of nature.
See also: call, nature, of

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Prov. If there is a gap, something will fill it. Jill: As soon as the beggar who used to work that corner left, another one showed up. Jane: Nature abhors a vacuum.
See also: nature, vacuum

nature stop

Fig. a stop to use the toilet, especially during road travel. I think I need a nature stop when it's convenient. I left my comb back at the last nature stop.
See also: nature, stop

*second nature to someone

easy and natural for someone. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) Swimming is second nature to Jane. Flying a helicopter is no problem for Bob. It's become second nature to him.
See also: nature, second

Self-preservation is the first law of nature.

Prov. Every living thing will fight to survive.; It is natural to think of yourself first. When foe's best friend was arrested, Joe pretended not to know him. "Perhaps it wasn't very loyal of me," he thought, "but self-preservation is the first law of nature."
See also: first, law, nature, of

let nature take its course

to allow something to happen naturally Normally, the Parks Department lets nature take its course and doesn't replace dead trees, but this situation is different.
See also: course, let, nature, take

(that's) the nature of the beast

this is the basic character of something The place is wild and beautiful and also dangerous – that's the nature of the beast. People make progress but do not reach perfection because imperfection is the nature of the beast.
See also: beast, nature, of

answer the call of nature

  (humorous)
to urinate (= pass liquid from the body) I had to go into the woods to answer the call of nature.
See also: answer, call, nature, of

Mother Nature

the force that controls the natural world Look at those trees blown down in the storm. Just shows you what Mother Nature can do when she gets angry.
See also: mother, nature

be (in) the nature of the beast

if something unpleasant is in the nature of the beast, it cannot be avoided because it is part of the character of something Relationships always involve some degree of dependence. It's in the nature of the beast.
See also: beast, nature, of

let nature take its course

to allow someone or something to live or die naturally By this stage, her illness was so severe that the doctors agreed to let nature take its course rather than prolong her suffering. We plant the seeds in springtime and then just let nature take its course.
See also: course, let, nature, take

call of nature

Need to urinate or defecate, as in He left to answer the call of nature. This euphemism may be dying out. [Mid-1800s]
See also: call, nature, of

good nature

A cheerful, obliging disposition, as in Ted is known for his good nature-he's always willing to help. [Mid-1400s]
See also: good, nature

second nature

A habit or mode of behavior so long practiced that it seems innate, as in Driving in heavy traffic is second nature to Chris. This expression is a shortened form of an ancient proverb, Custom (or usage) is a second nature, first recorded in 1390. It alludes to the fact that very frequently repeating something makes it seem completely natural or inborn.
See also: nature, second

mother nature(’s)

n. marijuana. (Drugs.) No chemicals for me. I find that mother nature is everything I need.
See also: mother

mother nature

verb
See also: mother, nature

nature’s call

and call of nature
n. the feeling of a need to go to the toilet. I think I feel nature’s call coming on.
See also: call

call of nature

verb
See also: call, nature, of

nature stop

n. a stop to use the toilet, especially during road travel. (Euphemistic.) I think I need a nature stop when it’s convenient.
See also: nature, stop

call of nature

A need to urinate or defecate. Often used with answer: He left the room to answer the call of nature.
See also: call, nature, of
References in classic literature ?
For as it is dislocation and detachment from the life of God that makes things ugly, the poet, who re-attaches things to nature and the Whole,-- re-attaching even artificial things and violations of nature, to nature, by a deeper insight,--disposes very easily of the most disagreeable facts.
For through that better perception he stands one step nearer to things, and sees the flowing or metamorphosis; perceives that thought is multiform; that within the form of every creature is a force impelling it to ascend into a higher form; and following with his eyes the life, uses the forms which express that life, and so his speech flows with the flowing of nature.
What we call nature is a certain self-regulated motion or change; and nature does all things by her own hands, and does not leave another to baptize her but baptizes herself; and this through the metamorphosis again.
But nature has a higher end, in the production of New individuals, than security, namely ascension, or the passage of the soul into higher forms.
A spy they will not suffer; a lover, a poet, is the transcendency of their own nature,--him they will suffer.
as of an intellect doubled on itself), by abandonment to the nature of things; that beside his privacy of power as an individual man, there is a great public power on which he can draw, by unlocking, at all risks, his human doors, and suffering the ethereal tides to roll and circulate through him; then he is caught up into the life of the Universe, his speech is thunder, his thought is law, and his words are universally intelligible as the plants and animals.
Not that in nature the relations can ever be as simple as this.
I am tempted to give one more instance showing how plants and animals, most remote in the scale of nature, are bound together by a web of complex relations.
The dependency of one organic being on another, as of a parasite on its prey, lies generally between beings remote in the scale of nature.
When we reflect on this struggle, we may console ourselves with the full belief, that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply.
Nature is an endless combination and repetition of a very few laws.
A painter told me that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree; or draw a child by studying the outlines of its form merely,--but, by watching for a time his motions and plays, the painter enters into his nature and can then draw him at will in every attitude.
Because a profound nature awakens in us by its actions and words, by its very looks and manners, the same power and beauty that a gallery of sculpture or of pictures addresses.
I have seen in the sky a chain of summer lightning which at once showed to me that the Greeks drew from nature when they painted the thunderbolt in the hand of Jove.
In these caverns, already prepared by nature, the eye was accustomed to dwell on huge shapes and masses, so that when art came to the assistance of nature it could not move on a small scale without degrading itself.