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

Today, when baseball fights for attention, the statistics spawned by nerd culture can be almost incomprehensible to a potential fan. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "Behind the story: Getting a look at baseball’s future while exploring its past," 17 Sep. 2019 Writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons prosecuted their case mercilessly and purified the pernicious influence of comics from popular culture. Wired, "The 11 Best New TV Shows Coming This Fall," 16 Sep. 2019 Growing up in Kendall, Alex Miranda watched Belkys Nerey, Lynn Martinez and Louis Aguirre deliver celebrity news and pop culture stories about South Florida and beyond on WSVN-Ch. Johnny Diaz, sun-sentinel.com, "‘Deco Drive’ brings a Miami native home to WSVN," 16 Sep. 2019 The items have been grouped into categories representing Bourdain’s appetites for art, cooking, film, literature, travel and world culture. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Anthony Bourdain’s estate getting auctioned; preview in New Braunfels," 16 Sep. 2019 Fashion insiders fly all across the world to craze over a city that is filled with different cultures which whip up a whirlwind of fashion. Nandi Howard, Essence, "This Is How Black Creatives Slay London Fashion Week," 16 Sep. 2019 So what participation means can be very opaque to students who are not familiar with college culture. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "The Price of Ascending America’s Class Ladder," 16 Sep. 2019 Across the continent, cultures that had thrived for hundreds of years were nearly wiped away. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "IT: Chapter Two and the Great American Tradition of Selling Native Spirituality," 16 Sep. 2019 Alliance Francaise de Denver (open site) Alliance Francaise de Denver is one of the city’s oldest nonprofits and has worked to honor and promote French culture since 1897. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Peek into a former sanatorium, French Gothic cathedral and more landmarks at Doors Open Denver," 15 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

From the pastures, the cows produce a daily flow of milk churned into butter, cultured into yogurt, and curdled into wheels of alpine cheese. Danielle Bernabe, National Geographic, "Eat, drink, and herd cattle at this Austrian festival," 15 Sep. 2019 Last month, Wild Type held a tasting at a restaurant in Portland, Ore., where guests were served an array of salmon dishes — from Hawaiian poke to ceviche verde to sushi rolls — all made from fish the company had cultured. David Yaffe-bellany, New York Times, "The Fish Is Boneless. (Fishless, Too.)," 10 July 2019 Memphis Meats, based in Emeryville, Calif., is one of a growing number of startups worldwide that are making cell-based or cultured meat. Terence Chea, chicagotribune.com, "‘People want meat. They don’t want slaughter’: The promise and problems of lab-grown protein.," 9 July 2019 Still, Sestan and his team were able to culture, or grow, active cells from that tissue — tissue that was, for all practical purposes, entirely dead. Matthew Shaer, New York Times, "Scientists Are Giving Dead Brains New Life. What Could Go Wrong?," 2 July 2019 Scientists are able to culture cells such as endothelial cells [which line the inside of blood and lymphatic vessels] for a little bit longer. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "Medicine in Space: What Microgravity Can Tell Us about Human Health," 7 Aug. 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 grocery stores today, most buttermilk cartons consist of milk that has been cultured with bacteria, causing it to thicken and sour. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, "Leftover Buttermilk is a Blessing, Not a Curse," 16 July 2019 Her doctor prescribed a third drug, ciprofloxacin, the last of the three major front-line medicines, and cultured her urine. Matt Richtel, BostonGlobe.com, "Common infection builds defenses and puts millions at risk," 13 July 2019

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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