nature

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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

the nature of the beast

The traits inherent to a thing or situation, especially a negative or difficult one. Unfortunately, exhaustion is just the nature of the beast when you're a new parent. Of course you're scared—that's just the nature of the beast when you make big changes in your life.
See also: beast, nature, of

(that's) the nature of the beast

(That's) the basic, inherent quality or character of something. You get rich quick in the stock market or you can lose your shirt. That's the nature of the beast. Uncertainty in life is just the nature of the beast. You never know what's going to happen next.
See also: beast, nature, of

call of nature

informal The urge to urinate or defecate. Jim is off answering the call of nature. Wait a minute, I have to go answer the call of nature. The coach called football practice off because of the rain.
See also: call, nature, of

let nature 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 to nature literally, or figuratively to manmade situations or events. If we were to let nature take its course and stop maintaining this lot, it would look like the rest of the forest in months. I know he's underperforming, but he doesn't report to you, so I would just let nature take its course and let his department head discover his incompetence for herself.
See also: course, let, nature, take

Mother Nature

A personification of the natural world, sometimes thought of as the force that controls it. Although the term is sometimes used to identify the cause of things such as natural disasters, it is typically used in a positive or neutral way, especially in the sense of a nurturer and provider. Look at all the wonders that Mother Nature provides, from fruit and vegetables to beautiful mountains and oceans. You better batten down the hatches, because Mother Nature is blowing up a serious storm.
See also: mother, nature

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

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

the nature of the beast

If you say that something is the nature of the beast, you mean that it is a part of the character of the person or thing that you are talking about and cannot be avoided. Negotiations always get tougher towards the end. That's the nature of the beast. If you play any sport at this level, you're going to get injured from time to time. That's just the nature of the beast. Note: If you say that someone knows the nature of the beast, you mean that they know or understand a particular person or thing very well. Having served as Secretary of State for Education in Edward Heath's government, she knew the nature of the beast.
See also: beast, nature, of

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 ?
I would have every man so much like a wild antelope, so much a part and parcel of nature, that his very person should thus sweetly advertise our senses of his presence, and remind us of those parts of nature which he most haunts.
Why not put my house, my parlor, behind this plot, instead of behind that meager assemblage of curiosities, that poor apology for a Nature and Art, which I call my front yard?
Poor Marner went out with that despair in his soul--that shaken trust in God and man, which is little short of madness to a loving nature.
But nature, it seems, has not been so expert a school-mistress; and these politer pleasures are entirely the productions of art and reason on our side of the globe.
Nature enhances her beauty, to the eye of loving men, from their belief that the poet is beholding her shows at the same time.
Too feeble fall the impressions of nature on us to make us artists.
The account of the Platonic ideas in the Meno is the simplest and clearest, and we shall best illustrate their nature by giving this first and then comparing the manner in which they are described elsewhere, e.
The magnificent figure under which the nature of the soul is described has not much to do with the popular doctrine of the ideas.
I mean to say that there do exist natures gifted with those opposite qualities.
Stand before each of its tablets and say, 'Under this mask did my Proteus nature hide itself.
Again, those species which are distinguished one from another and opposed one to another within the same genus are said to be 'simultaneous' in nature.
Voice indeed, as being the token of pleasure and pain, is imparted to others also, and thus much their nature is capable of, to perceive pleasure and pain, and to impart these sensations to others; but it is by speech that we are enabled to express what is useful for us, and what is hurtful, and of course what is just and what is unjust: for in this particular man differs from other animals, that he alone has a perception of good and evil, of just and unjust, and it is a participation of these common sentiments which forms a family and a city.
It has been seen in the last chapter that amongst organic beings in a state of nature there is some individual variability; indeed I am not aware that this has ever been disputed.
First and always in considering any piece of literature a student should ask himself the question already implied: Does it present a true portrayal of life--of the permanent elements in all life and in human nature, of the life or thought of its own particular period, and (in most sorts of books) of the persons, real or imaginary, with whom it deals?
In reality, true nature is as difficult to be met with in authors, as the Bayonne ham, or Bologna sausage, is to be found in the shops.