nour·​ish | \ˈnər-ish, ˈnə-rish\
nourished; nourishing; nourishes

Definition of nourish 

transitive verb

1 : nurture, rear … to save my boy, to nourish and bring him up …— Shakespeare

2 : to promote the growth of no occasions to exercise the feelings nor nourish passion— L. O. Coxe nourished soccer as a sport in this country needed to nourish his spiritual life

3a : to furnish or sustain with nutriment : feed Plants are nourished by rain and soil.

b : maintain, support their profits … nourish other criminal activities— Beverly Smith

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Other Words from nourish

nourisher noun

Examples of nourish in a Sentence

Vitamins are added to the shampoo to nourish the hair. a friendship nourished by trust

Recent Examples on the Web

It could also be used to help plants grow on the Moon, which are needed to nourish future lunar inhabitants. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Why mining the water on the Moon could open up space exploration," 23 Aug. 2018 Marchbein suggests the La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 and Bioderma Cicabio Crème for nourishing flaky patches. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Why Cica Is the Latest K-Beauty Ingredient Taking Over Skin-Care Products," 14 Aug. 2018 Aside from different nesting preferences, the main difference between bees and wasps is that bees feed their larvae pollen, while wasps — a category that includes yellow jackets and hornets — nourish theirs with insects. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "6 Ways to Keep Wasps Away From You," 26 July 2018 Embrace this lunation by finding the light within the darkness and focusing on practices that nourish you. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What June's Leo Horoscope Means for You," 29 May 2018 Prebiotics, on the other hand, are a type of plant fiber often found in vegetables that nourishes good bacteria. Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, "10 Foods Filled With Probiotics," 12 Apr. 2018 Just as bodies are broken down in death by decomposers, every bit of them transformed into the matter that nourishes new life, so is the creative process a constant cycle. NBC News, "7 pep talks to get you through the work week," 2 Apr. 2018 Understanding how to nourish and heal the postpartum body is key for a new family. Lauren Ingram, WSJ, "6 Great Go-To Baby Gifts (and 6 to Avoid)," 12 July 2018 Cleansers crafted from herbs in the Lamiaceae family, including peppermint, spearmint, basil, sage, rosemary, and lavender, can be deeply detoxifying and nourishing for your scalp, thanks to their antibacterial properties. Kari Molvar, Vogue, "The Supercharged Detox Ingredient That’s Missing From Your Shampoo," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nourish.' 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 nourish

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nourish

Middle English nurishen, from Anglo-French nuriss-, stem of nurrir, norrir, from Latin nutrire to suckle, nourish; akin to Greek nan to flow, noteros damp, Sanskrit snauti it drips

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Statistics for nourish

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for nourish

The first known use of nourish was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for nourish



English Language Learners Definition of nourish

: to provide (someone or something) with food and other things that are needed to live, be healthy, etc.

: to cause (something) to develop or grow stronger


nour·​ish | \ˈnər-ish \
nourished; nourishing

Kids Definition of nourish

: to cause to grow or live in a healthy state especially by providing with enough good food or nutrients

Other Words from nourish

nourishing adjective a nourishing meal


transitive verb
nour·​ish | \ˈnər-ish, ˈnə-rish \

Medical Definition of nourish 

: to furnish or sustain with nutriment : feed

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Comments on nourish

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a private place of worship

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