culture

noun
cul·​ture | \ ˈkəl-chər How to pronounce culture (audio) \

Definition of culture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time popular culture Southern culture
b : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization a corporate culture focused on the bottom line
c : the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic studying the effect of computers on print culture Changing the culture of materialism will take time …— Peggy O'Mara
d : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
2a : enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training
b : acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills a person of culture
3 : the act or process of cultivating living material (such as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media also : a product of such cultivation
4 : cultivation, tillage We ought to blame the culture, not the soil.— Alexander Pope
5 : the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education
6 : expert care and training beauty culture

culture

verb
cultured; culturing\ ˈkəlch-​riŋ How to pronounce culturing (audio) , ˈkəl-​chə-​ \

Definition of culture (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : cultivate
2a : to grow in a prepared medium culture microorganisms
b : to start a culture from (see culture entry 1 sense 3) culture soil

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Synonyms & Antonyms for culture

Synonyms: Noun

accomplishment, civilization, couth, cultivation, polish, refinement

Synonyms: Verb

crop, cultivate, dress, grow, promote, raise, rear, tend

Antonyms: Noun

barbarianism, barbarism, philistinism

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Examples of culture in a Sentence

Noun

In this new view, genes allow the human mind to learn, remember, imitate, imprint language, absorb culture and express instincts. — Matt Ridley, Time, 2 June 2003 Such an explanation seems sensible to a technologically advanced and ruthlessly competitive culture like our own, where anybody who fails to get at least a college degree … risks spending a life busing tables or telemarketing. — Natalie Angier, New York Times, 2 July 2002 There is an Arctic Indian tribe, the Gwich'in—the northernmost Indians in the United States—who base their diet and culture on the caribou. — Jimmy Carter, National Geographic Traveler, October 2001 Underlying the question "Is this as good as it gets?" was a female j'accuse—against a consumer culture where values like caring had been severely discounted. — Susan Faludi, Newsweek, 8 Jan. 2001 a study of Greek language and culture Her art shows the influence of pop culture. It's important to learn about other cultures. The company's corporate culture is focused on increasing profits. an area that has been criticized for its lack of culture

Verb

The virus is cultured in the laboratory from samples of infected tissue. culture bacteria in laboratory dishes
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Community ties are very important in Igbo culture, and so, while the descendants of, say, American immigrants are encouraged to assimilate, the ohu have never lost their outsider status. Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, The New Yorker, "The Descendants of Slaves in Nigeria Fight for Equality," 11 July 2019 But the decision in Knight Institute is a significant statement about the role of the internet and social media in the contemporary culture of political discourse. S.m. | San Diego, The Economist, "An appeals court says Donald Trump may not block critics on Twitter," 10 July 2019 Do group identities dictate, to some extent, one’s experience in contemporary American culture? Nate Hochman, National Review, "The Limits of Intersectionality," 10 July 2019 Wealth, too, in a culture that revolves so completely around its affordances, shelters. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "When Jeffrey Epstein Joked About Sex Abuse," 9 July 2019 For its part, Western aid has resulted in an Anglo-American culture of journalism education which has proved impractical to implement in countries with illiberal political regimes. Herman Wasserman, Quartz Africa, "Donor-funded African journalism is getting caught between the US and China world view," 9 July 2019 When you’re done soaking up and drinking in Japanese culture (literally), here are a few other creative, cultural, and just straight-up stunning windows into Japanese daily life worth experiencing. Laura Studarus, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Misugi, Japan," 5 July 2019 My family went to Camp Friendship, a weeklong Korean adoptees’ retreat that immersed us in the culture and taught us how to make bulgogi. Alyse Whitney, Bon Appétit, "How Much Kimchi Do I Have to Eat to Stop Feeling Like a Bad Korean?," 3 July 2019 Luckily, there's a shift in culture happening right now, even outside the realm of fashion, that makes reference back to that frivolous era. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Recent SCAD Grads and Fashion Designers Brandon Skipper, Linden Grace Colby, Haley Emerson, and Darren Apolonio Discuss The Current State of Fashion," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 2010, for example, Regenexx sued the FDA, claiming the agency lacked the authority to regulate its procedures, which involved culturing stem cells before reinjecting them into patients. STAT, "Employers are steering workers toward a controversial stem cell therapy," 20 June 2019 In 2010, for example, Regenexx sued the FDA, claiming the agency lacked the authority to regulate its procedures, which involved culturing stem cells before reinjecting them into patients. STAT, "Employers are steering workers toward a controversial stem cell therapy," 20 June 2019 In 2010, for example, Regenexx sued the FDA, claiming the agency lacked the authority to regulate its procedures, which involved culturing stem cells before reinjecting them into patients. Time, "Employers Are Steering Workers Toward Controversial Stem Cell Therapies," 19 June 2019 But her latest look proves that, sometimes, being cultured is even better than owning the latest It bag. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Sarah Jessica Parker’s Latest Accessory Proves She’s a Consummate New Yorker," 13 Dec. 2018 The celebratory suds are made with hops grown at Hallowed Hops Farm in Lewistown, saison yeast cultured at Omega Yeast Labs in Chicago and grains familiar to Illinois farmers — corn, wheat, oats and barley. Lori Rackl, chicagotribune.com, "Bicentennial bucket list: 20 essential Illinois drinks," 29 June 2018 The university cultures some of these dangerous parasites to study them. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "UCSD steps up fight against tropical parasitical diseases," 4 July 2018 The center includes cell culturing equipment to grow lung cells from patients, to be used for drug screening. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Vertex Pharmaceuticals opens expanded San Diego research center with focus on cystic fibrosis," 18 June 2018 There’s some confusion over how meat grown by culturing animal cells will be regulated. Washington Post, "Meat 2.0? Clean meat? Spat shows the power of food wording," 19 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of culture

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Verb

1510, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for culture

Noun and Verb

Middle English, cultivated land, cultivation, from Anglo-French, from Latin cultura, from cultus, past participle — see cult

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More Definitions for culture

culture

noun

English Language Learners Definition of culture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time
: a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.
: a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business)

culture

verb

English Language Learners Definition of culture (Entry 2 of 2)

technical : to grow (something) in controlled conditions

culture

noun
cul·​ture | \ ˈkəl-chər How to pronounce culture (audio) \

Kids Definition of culture

2 : the raising or development (as of a crop or product) by careful attention grape culture
3 : the appreciation and knowledge of the arts (as music, dance, and painting)
4 : the habits, beliefs, and traditions of a particular people, place, or time Greek culture

culture

noun
cul·​ture | \ ˈkəl-chər How to pronounce culture (audio) \

Medical Definition of culture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thought, speech, action, and artifacts and depends upon the human capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group
2a : the act or process of growing living material (as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media
b : a product of cultivation in nutrient media

Other Words from culture

cultural \ ˈkəlch(-​ə)-​rəl How to pronounce cultural (audio) \ adjective
culturally \ -​rə-​lē How to pronounce culturally (audio) \ adverb

culture

transitive verb
cultured; culturing\ ˈkəlch-​(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce culturing (audio) \

Medical Definition of culture (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to grow (as microorganisms or tissues) in a prepared medium
2 : to start a culture from culture soil also : to make a culture of culture milk

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Comments on culture

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