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December 20, 2014

Word of the Day

  • nurture
  • audio pronunciation
  • \NER-cher\
  • DEFINITION

verb

1 : to supply with nourishment 2 : to educate 3 : to further the development of : foster

  • EXAMPLE

The mayor pushed for tax credits for small businesses as a way to nurture economic growth.

"In the late 1970s, a program was launched at the National Marine Fisheries laboratory in Galveston to nurture hatchlings that would instinctively return to beaches on Padre Island." — Harvey Rice, Houston Chronicle, November 18, 2014

  • DID YOU KNOW?

It's no coincidence that nurture is a synonym of nourish—both are derived from the Latin verb nutrire, meaning "to suckle" or "to nourish." The noun nurture first appeared in English in the 14th century, but the verb didn't arrive until the 15th century. Originally, the verb nurture meant "to feed or nourish." The sense meaning "to promote the development of" didn't come into being until the end of the 18th century. Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, is credited with first giving life to that sense in her Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792): "Public spirit must be nurtured by private virtue." Other nutrire descendants in English include nutrient, nutritious, nutriment, nutrition, and, of course, nourishment.

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