cultivate

verb cul·ti·vate \ ˈkəl-tə-ˌvāt \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of cultivate

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 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

play \ˈkəl-tə-ˌvā-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of cultivate in a Sentence

  1. Prehistoric peoples settled the area and began to cultivate the land.

  2. Some of the fields are cultivated while others lie fallow.

  3. a plant that is cultivated for its fruit

  4. They survived by cultivating vegetables and grain.

  5. He has carefully cultivated his image.

  6. She cultivated a taste for fine wines.

Recent Examples of cultivate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of cultivate

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

cultivate Synonyms

Other Agriculture/Gardening Terms


CULTIVATE Defined for English Language Learners

cultivate

verb

Definition of cultivate for English Language Learners

  • : to prepare and use (soil) for growing plants

  • : to grow and care for (plants)

  • : to grow or raise (something) under conditions that you can control


CULTIVATE Defined for Kids

cultivate

verb cul·ti·vate \ ˈkəl-tə-ˌvāt \

Definition of cultivate for Students

cultivated; cultivating
1 : to prepare land for the raising of crops
  • cultivate a field
2 : to raise or assist the growth of crops by tilling or by labor and care
  • cultivate corn
3 : to improve or develop by careful attention, training, or study : devote time and thought to
  • He's trying to cultivate a better attitude.
4 : to seek the company and friendship of
  • As soon as Johnny began to cultivate Dove, he was surprised at the response.
  • —Esther Forbes, Johnny Tremain

Medical Dictionary

cultivate

transitive verb cul·ti·vate \ ˈkəl-tə-ˌvāt \

medical Definition of cultivate

cultivated; cultivating
: culture 1
  • viruses cultivated in brain tissue


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cultivate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a man who seduces many women

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!