cultivate

verb

cul·​ti·​vate ˈkəl-tə-ˌvāt How to pronounce cultivate (audio)
cultivated; cultivating

transitive verb

1
: to prepare or prepare and use for the raising of crops
Some fields are cultivated while others lie fallow.
also : to loosen or break up the soil about (growing plants)
2
a
: to foster the growth of
cultivate vegetables
cultivate coffee
b
: culture sense 2a
cultivate oysters for pearls
c
: to improve by labor, care, or study : refine
cultivate the mind
cultivated a reputation as a hard-core wheeler-dealer …Kit Boss
3
: further, encourage
cultivate the arts
4
: to seek the society of : make friends with
looking for influential people to cultivate as friends
cultivatable adjective

Example Sentences

Prehistoric peoples settled the area and began to cultivate the land. Some of the fields are cultivated while others lie fallow. a plant that is cultivated for its fruit They survived by cultivating vegetables and grain. He has carefully cultivated his image. She cultivated a taste for fine wines. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Within the guiding framework of people, product, and process, consider these five questions to help cultivate, broaden, or finetune innovation in your organization. Quartz Creative For Baker Tilly, Quartz, 29 Nov. 2022 Jay vowed to replicate that camaraderie in the music world, both to help lift up musicians and to cultivate appreciation for music throughout the San Diego community. Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Nov. 2022 The exhibit centers on concert promoter Figurehead, which helped cultivate a music subculture that took in the sounds of Sonic Youth, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Drivin N Cryin, Jonathan Richman and others. Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 3 Sep. 2022 The efforts of the Portland Burmese community, though, helped cultivate the cuisine’s visibility enough to flourish elsewhere. Max Decker And Kalia Yee, oregonlive, 7 Aug. 2022 Producer Dan Lin is launching a new nonprofit accelerator to help cultivate the next generation of BIPOC creators and entrepreneurs. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 July 2022 Yet, there is often little support to help players imagine themselves outside of their athletic identities and to cultivate alternative careers. Tracie Canada, Scientific American, 6 Jan. 2023 Belser thinks harm-reduction strategies could cultivate safer ketamine use. Delilah Friedler, Rolling Stone, 6 Jan. 2023 Yes, Petrzela argues, exercise culture can cultivate our most consumeristic, myopic, individualistic and vain qualities. Maggie Lange, Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cultivate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Medieval Latin cultivatus, past participle of cultivare, from cultivus cultivable, from Latin cultus, past participle of colere — see cult

First Known Use

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cultivate was in 1588

Dictionary Entries Near cultivate

Cite this Entry

“Cultivate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cultivate. Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

cultivate

verb
cul·​ti·​vate ˈkəl-tə-ˌvāt How to pronounce cultivate (audio)
cultivated; cultivating
1
a
: to prepare land for the raising of crops
b
: to loosen or break up the soil around (growing plants)
2
a
: to raise or assist the growth of by tilling or by labor and care
cultivate vegetables
cultivate oysters
3
: to improve or develop by careful attention, training, or study : devote time and thought to
cultivate one's mind
cultivate the arts
4
: to seek the company and friendship of

Medical Definition

cultivate

transitive verb
cul·​ti·​vate ˈkəl-tə-ˌvāt How to pronounce cultivate (audio)
cultivated; cultivating
: culture sense 1
viruses cultivated in brain tissue

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