Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical universe, material world or material universe. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The term generally does not include manufactured objects and human interaction unless qualified in ways such as, e.g., "human nature" or "the whole of nature". Nature is also generally distinguished from the spiritual or supernatural. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the galactic.
The word "nature" derives from the Latin word natura, or "the course of things, natural character."Natura was a Latin translation of the Greek word physis, which originally related to the innate way in which plants and animals grow of their own accord, and to the Greek word for plants generally.The concept of nature as a whole, the physical universe, is a more recent development that gained increasingly wide use with the advent of modern scientific method in the last several centuries.