Nature as a creative force or process; the essential or divine creative power. Also in extended use. Compare "nature", natura naturata .
In later use usually with reference to the philosophy of Spinoza.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Barnaby Rich (1542–1617), soldier and author. From post-classical Latin natura naturans from classical Latin nātūra + post-classical Latin naturans, present participle of naturare.