Type the word "nature" into Google, and click the "Definition" button, and Answers.com will offer you the following:
1. The material world and its phenomena.
2. The forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world: the laws of nature.
3. The world of living things and the outdoors: the beauties of nature.
4. A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or artificiality: couldn't tolerate city life anymore and went back to nature.
5. Theology. Humankind's natural state as distinguished from the state of grace.
6. A kind or sort: confidences of a personal nature.
7. The essential characteristics and qualities of a person or thing: “She was only strong and sweet and in her nature when she was really deep in trouble” (Gertrude Stein).
8. The fundamental character or disposition of a person; temperament: “Strange natures made a brotherhood of ill” (Percy Bysshe Shelley).
9. The natural or real aspect of a person, place, or thing. See synonyms at disposition.
10. The processes and functions of the body.
[Middle English, essential properties of a thing, from Old French, from Latin nātūra, from nātus, past participle of nāscī, to be born.]