I'm aware of the phrase second nature:

second nature

a tendency or habit that has become characteristic or instinctive.

"deceit was becoming second nature to her"


Is there something that means "first nature"? Example sentence:

His light, like air, had become __ to her.

(Maybe "first nature" is common enough? And applicable in this situation?)

Note: By "first nature" I mean, things that are fundamental to us like food, shelter, air, etc.

  • I've never heard the term first nature used before. I'm happy to help you fill in a word for that sentence, but it's not clear to me what you hope to say with the word "first nature"?
    – Element115
    Mar 22, 2018 at 3:40
  • @Element115 I added a note in my question.
    – alex
    Mar 22, 2018 at 3:43
  • In this context, I would think that things that are "first nature" are instinctive or genetic, not fundamental like food, shelter, etc. Things that are second nature are skills and habits that are done without conscious thought. Anyhow, I have never before encountered the phrase "first nature".
    – m_a_s
    Mar 22, 2018 at 3:49

1 Answer 1



first nature

You seem to mean something that already occurs and has not been learned.

The possible words you are looking for are

Babies will instinctively cling to their mothers.

Without any training, he is a natural-born athlete.

Depending on your perspective, a related term might be

idiot savant

which describes someone who is mentally handicapped, but brilliant at one particular thing.

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