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

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
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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Since bursting onto the WNBA scene after a record-breaking college career, Clark has found herself being used by controversial figures on social media to push their own agendas in American culture wars. Ben Church, CNN, 14 June 2024 Drugs and youth culture is something young people talk about. Marc Hirsh, EW.com, 13 June 2024
Verb
So, the researchers obtained lung cells from a volunteer who has cystic fibrosis and cultured them in a way to form a three-dimensional tissue. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 13 June 2024 It's traditionally made by combining cooked wheat grains and soybeans into a paste, then adding in salt, water, and a fermenting agent like yeast or a culturing mold like Aspergillus. Daryl Austin, USA TODAY, 16 Jan. 2024 See all Example Sentences for culture 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'culture.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 20 Jun. 2024.

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
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!