cultivate

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

Essential Meaning of cultivate

1 : to prepare and use (soil) for growing plants Prehistoric peoples settled the area and began to cultivate the land. Some of the fields are cultivated while others lie fallow.
2 : to grow and care for (plants) a plant that is cultivated for its fruit They survived by cultivating vegetables and grain.
3 : to grow or raise (something) under conditions that you can control pearls from cultivated oysters

Full Definition of cultivate

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)
2a : 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

Other Words from cultivate

cultivatable \ ˈkəl-​tə-​ˌvā-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce cultivate (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for cultivate

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of cultivate in a Sentence

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 Parents can cultivate openness in kids by exploring lots of activities both for kids individually and as a family. Alison Escalante, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 The gentle pink tones of rose quartz can cultivate qualities of love and self-love. Jean Chen Smith, The Enquirer, 24 Oct. 2021 Inclusionary housing policies will cultivate a consumer base that can attract established businesses, foster new local businesses, and demand better amenities for the west side. Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Oct. 2021 By holding wealth in Bitcoin, Native American communities can cultivate sovereign economic systems and move toward eliminating reliance on the federal government. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 7 May 2021 By following this three-step framework, companies can cultivate a buzzworthy brand through word of mouth and continuously expand their customer base through the strength of their most loyal customers. Nicky Senyard, Forbes, 9 Dec. 2021 Any activity that involves an element of ingenuity should cultivate joy. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, 29 Nov. 2021 To start or continue the unlearning process within your organization, cultivate a culture that empowers employees to speak up and discuss issues of allyship. Tara Ataya, Quartz, 22 Nov. 2021 Just as with Millennials before them, brands must cultivate brand loyalty and start building those relationships early. Erik Huberman, Rolling Stone, 19 Nov. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of cultivate

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cultivate

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

Learn More About cultivate

Time Traveler for cultivate

Time Traveler

The first known use of cultivate was in 1588

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near cultivate

cultivar

cultivate

cultivated

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cultivate

Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cultivate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cultivate. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for cultivate

cultivate

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

Kids Definition of cultivate

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

cultivate

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

Medical Definition of cultivate

: culture sense 1 viruses cultivated in brain tissue

More from Merriam-Webster on cultivate

Nglish: Translation of cultivate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cultivate for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!