The nature of the beast

The nature of the beast is an idiom that dates back hundreds of years. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom the nature of the beast, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

The nature of the beast means the inherent quality of something or an essential facet of the character of something. The nature of the beast may refer to a person, thing, or situation. The idiom the nature of the beast first appeared in Collection of English Proverbs compiled by John Ray and published in 1678; it may be assumed that the phrase was used in a figurative sense before this time. It may also be assumed that the phrase the nature of the beast was originally used in a literal sense, before it became an idiom.

Examples

“I imagine over time, it’ll turn back to its typical seasonality unless we change our behaviors, but that’s just sort of the nature of the beast.” (D Magazine)

Benjamin declared the race as the “best race in Olympic history” and called his loss “the nature of the beast.” (New York Post)

Some of these dynamics are clearer and stronger than others, but that’s the nature of the beast – waxing and waning connections are part of the human condition. (Maine Edge)

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