hor·​ti·​cul·​ture ˈhȯr-tə-ˌkəl-chər How to pronounce horticulture (audio)
: the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants
horticultural adjective
horticulturally adverb

Did you know?

Hortus is Latin for "garden", and the first gardens were planted about 10,000 years ago in what is often called the Fertile Crescent—the crescent-shaped area stretching from Israel north through Syria and down Iraq's two great rivers to the Persian Gulf. Probably more fertile in previous centuries than it is today, it was the original home of such food plants as wheat, barley, peas, and lentils or their ancient ancestors (not to mention the ancestors of cows, pigs, sheep, and goats as well). Many horticulturists today work as researchers or plant breeders or tend orchards and greenhouses—but most American households contain at least one amateur horticulturist.

Examples of horticulture in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What started out in 1994 as an early childhood program has now added the ACCESS Academy for children in kindergarten through young adult education, therapy programs, tutoring, Project SEARCH, Vocation Innovation Project, a horticulture program, a ceramic program, and much, much more. Janet B. Carson, Arkansas Online, 30 Oct. 2023 While the Covid pandemic ignited a legion of sourdough breadmakers and Zoom mixologists, Kurkdjian found solace in horticulture. Nerisha Penrose, ELLE, 7 Sep. 2023 Advertisement Tam, who received a bachelor’s degree in plant science from Cal Poly Pomona, said plant science is the middle ground between botany and horticulture. Anna Braz, Los Angeles Times, 23 Aug. 2023 Recently, a farmer called the Penn State Extension in Bucks County saying his crops looked wilted as if they hadn’t been watered in a while, said Margaret Pickoff, horticulture extension educator. Steve Leblanc, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 July 2023 Populated with wreaths, one-of-a-kind planters, horticulture books and, of course, plants, Pippi + Lola strives to highlight a diverse group of makers, including women and people of color. Tom Davies, Chicago Tribune, 14 June 2023 When: 1-5:30 p.m. Friday to submit design and horticulture entries, 1-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Sep. 2023 Advertisement Andrew Brand, a founding member of the Connecticut Butterfly Association and the director of horticulture at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, emphasizes the need for variety when choosing plants. Tovah Martin, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 Brooke Garcia, garden director at Magnolia and horticulture expert, is in charge of bringing Jo’s vision of the gardens to life through the selection of color palettes, texture combinations, and a variety of plants. Bryce Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 24 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Latin hortus garden + English -i- + culture — more at yard

First Known Use

1678, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of horticulture was in 1678

Dictionary Entries Near horticulture

Cite this Entry

“Horticulture.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horticulture. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


hor·​ti·​cul·​ture ˈhȯrt-ə-ˌkəl-chər How to pronounce horticulture (audio)
: the science of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants
horticultural adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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