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
But last year, the convention tapped TikTok as the official partner for the first time, marking what appeared to be a shift in the internet culture space. Saba Hamedy, NBC News, 18 Jan. 2023 Don’t dismiss the consequences of last week’s flash-in-the-pan culture spat. Ketan Joshi, The New Republic, 18 Jan. 2023 Much as the recent World Cup in Doha, Qatar, served to introduce Persian Gulf culture to the outside world, the tournament in Basra gave many gulf citizens their first chance to experience Iraq. Mustafa Salim, Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2023 For example, a therapist or registered dietitian can dispel diet culture buzzwords like cheat days, clean eating, no carbs, etc., that encourage restrictive eating habits. Bianca Lambert, Essence, 18 Jan. 2023 But her first priority was to improve the company’s culture and make Signet a truly woman-friendly place to work. Byphil Wahba And Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 17 Jan. 2023 Disney theme parks aren’t just destinations for family fun—they’re repositories of public memory, reflections of American history adapting in concert with changing culture norms. Roger Catlin, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Jan. 2023 The expansion of Korean business and pop culture may also be pushing young Southeast Asians to travel to South Korea. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 17 Jan. 2023 Newton Community Pride supports free arts and culture programming, public art, beautification projects, and volunteer work in the city, according to the organization. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Jan. 2023
Verb
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 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 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 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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