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

Texas was once synonymous with the expansive version of Republicanism pursued by the Bushes and Rick Perry, a strand more concerned with taking care of business than with fighting culture wars or kicking out immigrants. The Economist, "Demography is not destinyBuilding a multiracial coalition is more difficult than it seems," 12 July 2018 Bucks Executive Chef Kenneth Hardiman and his staff visited the local restaurants to understand their cultures and adapt their products to the challenges of quickly serving large numbers of people. James B. Nelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Laughing Taco, FreshFin Poke, Iron Grate BBQ and Palermo's-inspired pizza coming to Bucks arena," 12 July 2018 And that is about the time the culture wars began in America. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Kavanaugh and the Culture Wars," 11 July 2018 But before Hello! West Hartford, the couple lived that mission of educating others about their Indonesian culture. Mikaela Porter, Courant Community, "Community Rallies Around West Hartford Man In Sanctuary Nearly Eight Months," 9 July 2018 Even the harmless memento reveals a misunderstanding in America about Russia and its culture. Elizabeth Myong, Houston Chronicle, "Russians in Houston have diverse views on international affairs," 8 July 2018 As 70-million-plus Millennials gradually edge out their elders, those interactions could eventually temper the culture wars that obstruct problem solving on national and local issues. Christa Case Bryant, The Christian Science Monitor, "How young liberals' moves to Red America may temper political divides," 6 July 2018 The Spurs culture — from the front office on down — has always been coveted by the NBA. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "7 reasons the Kawhi Leonard mess is the most bizarre NBA situation," 6 July 2018 Lucie Khahoutian Lucie Khahoutian is an Armenian visual artist based in Paris whose work juxtaposes Western contemporary culture and traditional Armenian references. Sarah Nechamkin, The Cut, "Meet the Finalists for the New Vanguard Photography Prize," 2 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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