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
Native American culture is not a monolith, and neither is its literature. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, 26 Nov. 2022 Anti-government militias and right-wing culture warriors like the Proud Boys attended a majority of the protests, the data showed. Mike Mcintire, New York Times, 26 Nov. 2022 The screening activity was complemented at the Film Bazaar market by a panel discussion involving industry stalwarts deliberating on the ways in which mainstream cinematic culture can be made more inclusive of children-centric films. Udita Jhunjhunwala, Variety, 26 Nov. 2022 Co-owner Lilo Allen, along with three other local artists, founded the storefront in 2018 to showcase local art and culture. Genevieve Redsten, Journal Sentinel, 26 Nov. 2022 Contemporary Asian tea culture is catching on globally. Kanis Leung, ajc, 25 Nov. 2022 For all your pop culture-loving friends out there, consider picking up a gift like the Lego Harry Potter 2022 Advent Calendar, on sale for $29. Rachel Simon, EW.com, 25 Nov. 2022 The process could be as simple as disseminating Indian history and culture through exhibits and publications in visitor centers operated by the National Park Service, Richardson said. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2022 In May 2021, Wabano launched his genderless clothing label, Wabano, inspired by two-spirit surroundings and traditional culture. Jay Valle, NBC News, 25 Nov. 2022
Verb
Cassey is an artist who has made her culture her livelihood. Jenna Kunze, ELLE, 28 July 2022 Mythology is integral to culture in Lithuania; the country’s steeped in Baltic pagan traditions that thousands still practice to this day. Stephanie Vermillion, Outside Online, 30 June 2022 Cher Cher is a very important person, and not just because of her contributions to culture and fashion. Chris Kornelis, New York Times, 28 July 2022 Think of what practices will fit your company’s culture the best and propose the team start implementing them gradually. Anton Pavlovsky, Forbes, 11 Aug. 2022 The next step to studying these gargantuan bacteria is for scientists to figure out how to culture them in labs. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 25 June 2022 If this isn’t testament to culture’s ongoing fascination with supermodels, what is? Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, 12 Sep. 2022 The past few years have been difficult, with challenges including the coronavirus pandemic that forced some of the most drastic shifts in teaching and learning, and instances of school violence and culture war clashes. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2022 Teachers in Texas are leaving in droves, citing low pay, feeling undervalued, health and safety concerns, and culture war pressures. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, 16 Aug. 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 1 Dec. 2022.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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