A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Náture. n.s. [natura, Latin; nature, French.]

  1. An imaginary being supposed to preside over the material and animal world.

    Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
    My services are bound.
    Shakespeare's K. Lear.

    When it was said to Anaxagoras, the Athenians have condemned you to die; he said again, and nature them. Bacon. Let the postilion nature mount, and let
    The coachman art be set.

                    Heav'n bestows
    At home all riches that wise nature needs.

    Simple nature to his hope has giv'n,
    Beyond the cloud-topt hill an humbler heav'n.

  2. The native state or properties of any thing, by which it is discriminated from others.

    Between the animal and rational province, some animals have a dark resemblance of the influxes of reason: so between the corporeal and intellectual world, there is man participating much of both natures. Hale's Orig. of Mankind.

  3. The constitution of an animated body.

    Nature, as it grows again tow'rd earth,
    Is fashion'd for the journey, dull and heavy.

                We're not ourselves,
    When nature, being opprest, commands the mind
    To suffer with the body.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

  4. Disposition of mind; temper.

    Nothing could have subdu'd nature
    To such a lowness but his unkind daughters.

    A credulous father, and a brother noble,
    Whose nature is so far from doing harms,
    That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty
    My practices ride easy.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

  5. The regular course of things.

                            My end
    Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence.

  6. The compass of natural existence.

    If their dam may be judge, the young apes are the most beautiful things in nature. Glanv.

  7. Natural affection, or reverence; native sensations.

                Have we not seen
    The murd'ring son ascend his parent's bed,
    Thro' violated nature force his way,
    And stain the sacred womb where once he lay?

  8. The state or operation of the material world.

    He binding nature fast in fate,
    Left conscience free and will.

  9. Sort; species.

    A dispute of this nature caused mischief in abundance betwixt a king and an archbishop. Dryden.

  10. Sentiments or images adapted to nature, or conformable to truth and reality.

    Only nature can please those tastes which are unprejudiced and refined. Addison.

    Nature and Homer were he found the same. Pope.

  11. Physics; the science which teaches the qualities of things.

    Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night,
    God said, let Newton be, and all was light.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors (24) · Cowley, Abraham (19) · Dryden, John (788) · Glanvill, Joseph (53) · Hale, Matthew (49) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (32)

Attributes: French (385) · Latin (690) · Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Nature." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 26, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/nature/.

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