culture

1 of 2

noun

cul·​ture ˈkəl-chər How to pronounce culture (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

cultured; culturing ˈkəlch-riŋ How to pronounce culture (audio)
ˈkəl-chə-

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

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 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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The temperature of a culture isn’t always taken with an accurate thermometer — especially with decisions around the blurry fate of who gets to be famous. Michael Klein, SPIN, 30 Jan. 2023 Providing flexibility to work in the location(s) of one’s choosing significantly improves outcomes related to innovation, well-being, burnout, and perceptions of organizational culture. Mark Cruth, Quartz, 30 Jan. 2023 From switchblades to Dungeons & Dragons to rap music to video games, people have unjustifiably projected their fears onto specific aspects of culture, blaming them for the inescapable passage of time and erosion of what once was. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Jan. 2023 This fascination morphed into a more all-encompassing outlook on documentation and photographing various aspects of San Diego culture. San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Jan. 2023 But digital creations like him, or it, have been a hallmark of Korean popular culture for a generation. Matt Stevens, New York Times, 29 Jan. 2023 Demonstrators returned to the streets of Memphis on Saturday with a largely peaceful stand against the elements of police culture that enabled the death of Tyre Nichols. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 29 Jan. 2023 Monterey Park is in the San Gabriel Valley, in eastern Los Angeles County, and is known as a center of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese American culture. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, 27 Jan. 2023 Today, the city’s leaders describe it as the heart of Asian American culture and activism, and a place where diaspora communities can thrive alongside of, and commingle with, American tradition. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2023
Verb
Things began to turn around, though, at least with respect to culture if not the win column, when the 41-year-old Norvell arrived from Memphis. Tom Layberger, Forbes, 1 Jan. 2023 It’s no one’s idea on Christmas Eve to pipette stem cells in a petri dish and wait for that to culture. Jayne Williamson-lee, STAT, 17 Dec. 2022 But then tying that to culture clash, was part of that metaphor. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 1 Dec. 2022 As of Friday morning, Trump’s account was still suspended, and trending topics included everything from the news of the day (Paul Pelosi) to culture (#FridayFeeling, Rihanna). Jason Abbruzzese, NBC News, 28 Oct. 2022 But culture war issues played heavily in the May 7 races. Dallas News, 9 May 2022 The size, terrain and demographics of San Diego have always given it a special relationship to culture and the arts. Luke Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Dec. 2022 One key question, according to Greg O’Corry-Crowe, a behavioral ecologist at Florida Atlantic University, is: Will culture carry the whales through? Saima May Sidik, WIRED, 3 Dec. 2022 Cassey is an artist who has made her culture her livelihood. Jenna Kunze, ELLE, 28 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Verb

1510, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of culture was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near culture

Cite this Entry

“Culture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

culture

1 of 2 noun
cul·​ture ˈkəl-chər How to pronounce culture (audio)
1
2
: the raising or development of a product or crop by careful attention
bee culture
the culture of grapes
3
: improvement of the mind, tastes, and manners through careful training
4
a
: a particular stage, form, or kind of civilization
ancient Greek culture
b
: the beliefs, social practices, and characteristics of a racial, religious, or social group
c
: the characteristic features of everyday life shared by people in a particular place or time
southern culture
5
: cultivation of living material (as bacteria) in a special usually liquid or jellylike nutrient preparation
also : a product of such cultivation

culture

2 of 2 verb
cultured; culturing ˈkəlch-(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce culture (audio)
: to grow in a prepared medium

Medical Definition

culture

1 of 2 noun
cul·​ture ˈkəl-chər How to pronounce culture (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: the act or process of growing living material (as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media
b
: a product of cultivation in nutrient media
cultural adjective
culturally adverb

culture

2 of 2 transitive verb
cultured; culturing ˈkəlch-(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce culture (audio)
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

More from Merriam-Webster on culture

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