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

The bank also reported it has sought to bolster its culture, employee structure, risk management and board oversight. Patrick Thomas, WSJ, "Wells Fargo Hires Strategic Enterprise Risk Chief," 4 Mar. 2019 Romantic comedies typically focus on the lives of women, and henceforth, we are trained by our culture to take them a lot less seriously. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Welcome to Rom-Com Week," 11 Feb. 2019 The Big Flat Now is the infinite space on which our culture operates today. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "How the Great Recession influenced a decade of design," 27 Dec. 2018 Best Picture Who should win: Black Panther defined the culture, was critically beloved, made all the money, and (here’s hoping) shifted the Hollywood paradigm. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Who Should Win at the Oscars vs. Who Will Win," 20 Feb. 2019 Those studies pointed towards Welsh structures dating back 5,000 years, like Carreg Coetan Arthur, as coming from the same culture that brought forth Stonehenge. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Stonehenge Might Have Its Roots With Ancient Sailors From France," 12 Feb. 2019 Thanking and donating items can alleviate the guilt associated with hoarding in a consumer culture. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Thrift Stores And Flea Markets Are Seeing An Influx Due To Marie Kondo," 15 Jan. 2019 People don’t just up and decide to leave their families — the culture hardly even allows for this when there is a really good reason to leave your family. Ashley Edwards Walker, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Estrangement — And Should You Consider It?," 21 Dec. 2018 The lesson, reinforced at a tragic cost of 189 lives, is that the aviation industry will have to fold data quality and the care and feeding of ML and AI systems into the safety culture that commercial aviation is already renowned for. Alyson Behr, Ars Technica, "More than an auto-pilot, AI charts its course in aviation," 5 Dec. 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 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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