nour·​ish | \ ˈnər-ish How to pronounce nourish (audio) , 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 The radish variety is among those recommended by natural resources officials to plant during such periods – not to harvest but to decompose in a bid to nourish the soil, aerate it and prevent erosion. USA TODAY, "Butter Gritty, radish stink, goatnapping: News from around our 50 states," 3 Jan. 2020 This is the year to nourish the bonds that matter and cut loose the ones that don’t. Bethany Heitman,, "Cancer Horoscopes: What 2020 Has in Store for You," 1 Jan. 2020 L'Occitane shea butter infused hand cream utilizes the healing powers of honey, almond, and coconut oil to nourish, protect, and revitalize your skin. Tanisha Pina, NBC News, "7 best hand creams to gift for the 2019 holidays," 6 Dec. 2019 Earth: The soul is nourished by favorite family dishes. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "Dia de los Muertos is more than sugar skulls. What it means to Louisville immigrants," 1 Nov. 2019 More than any other country, Cambodia is nourished by the Mekong. New York Times, "‘Our River Was Like a God’: How Dams and China’s Might Imperil the Mekong," 12 Oct. 2019 Vast expanses of lush green fields are multiplying in the Arizona desert, forming agricultural empires nourished with billions of gallons of groundwater in the otherwise parched landscape., "Megafarms and deeper wells are draining the water beneath rural Arizona – quietly, irreversibly," 5 Dec. 2019 The water runs through the underground passages and into open aqueducts, nourishing crops such as dates and lemons, as wells as grasses that villagers use to feed goats and cows. Ian James, azcentral, "In the Middle East, countries spend heavily to transform seawater into drinking water," 29 Nov. 2019 Myriad factors such as a mother’s physical and mental condition, exposure to toxins and whether she is well nourished have long been recognized as determinants of newborn fitness. Judith Finlayson,, "Men’s lifestyles can affect babies’ health," 27 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for nourish

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for nourish

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nourish.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for nourish


How to pronounce nourish (audio)

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 How to pronounce nourish (audio) \
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
nour·​ish | \ ˈnər-ish, ˈnə-rish How to pronounce nourish (audio) \

Medical Definition of nourish

: to furnish or sustain with nutriment : feed

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More from Merriam-Webster on nourish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nourish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nourish

Spanish Central: Translation of nourish

Nglish: Translation of nourish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nourish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on nourish

What made you want to look up nourish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


good-natured easy friendliness

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