culture

noun
cul·​ture | \ˈkəl-chər \

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 , 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, 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

Walking in pace with an elderly person — nobility or not — are basic manners in almost every culture, noted the Times. Meagan Fredette, refinery29.com, "Trump Ends Tumultuous U.K. Visit With A Breach In Royal Protocol," 14 July 2018 To Jones, there are two givens, his enduring love for South Florida, with an upcoming return to his Southwest Ranches home in summer, and an abiding respect for the Heat's culture. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Winderman: Faith in Heat future extends beyond organization itself | Commentary," 14 July 2018 Hear him on our BBQ State of Mind podcast to learn about Houston and Texas barbecue culture. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Zoo partnering with local bars on new straw initiative," 13 July 2018 Taofeek held a presentation for his brand Head of State+'s spring/summer 2019 collection, which paid homage to 70s afro-futurism styles and West African youth culture. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Taofeek Abijako Is Youngest Designer to Show at Men's NYFW," 13 July 2018 Croatia 101 Croatians have made their mark on American culture. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018 The brand regularly releases leggings influenced by art, music, travel, and culture, honoring artists from Basquiat to Bowie in their prints. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "You Can Now Buy Workout Leggings Inspired by J.Lo's Iconic Versace Dress," 12 July 2018 WeWork also wants to advise firms on improving corporate culture. The Economist, "Big corporates’ quest to be hip is helping WeWork," 12 July 2018 All of the families would go on excursions together and learn about each other’s cultures. Nancy Badertscher, ajc, "Hagood Bellinger, 77: Business leader, admired mentor loved Tech, golf," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Thanks to a streamlined hormonal regimen and a simplified device for culturing embryos, an IVF cycle at ABC costs just £2,500, including all tests, medicines, and doctor visits. Anna Louie Sussman, Bloomberg.com, "Falling Birthrates Call for More Accessible Fertility Treatment," 18 June 2018 They are being used to tackle the sorts of experiments that people once thought would occur on the ISS, including testing artificial gravity or culturing cells and growing protein crystals. Konstantin Kakaes, Vox, "NASA’s leader wants to privatize the International Space Station. It’s a remarkably terrible idea.," 8 June 2018 The company cultures cord-blood stem cells in nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, for three weeks before transplant. Ron Winslow, WSJ, "New Promise for Bone-Marrow Transplants," 28 May 2018 While its lenses were not necessarily more reliable than instruments produced by competitors in England and France, Zeiss’s advertising cultured a belief in the value of standardization for lens quality. Allain Daigle, The Atlantic, "How the 50-mm Lens Became ‘Normal’," 13 May 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

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

Verb

see culture entry 1

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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)

: to grow (something) in controlled conditions

culture

noun
cul·​ture | \ˈkəl-chər \

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 \

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 \ adjective
culturally \ -​rə-​lē \ adverb

culture

transitive verb
cultured; culturing\ ˈkəlch-​(ə-​)riŋ \

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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