1

nurture

play
noun nur·ture \ˈnər-chər\

Definition of nurture

  1. 1 :  training, upbringing With proper focus during early nurture, one can grow into a secure being … — Ella Pearson Mitchell

  2. 2 :  something that nourishes :  food … fed him well, and nourished himself, and took nurture for the road … — R. D. Blackmore

  3. 3 :  the sum of the environmental factors influencing the behavior and traits expressed by an organism Is our character affected more by nature or by nurture?

nurture was our Word of the Day on 12/20/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of nurture in a Sentence

  1. Members of the family helped in the nurture of the baby.

Recent Examples of nurture from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nurture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of nurture

Middle English norture, nurture, from Anglo-French nureture, from Late Latin nutritura act of nursing, from Latin nutritus, past participle of nutrire to suckle, nourish — more at nourish


2

nurture

verb nur·ture

Definition of nurture

nurtured

;

nurturing

play \ˈnərch-riŋ, ˈnər-chə-\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to supply with nourishment care for and nurture a baby

  3. 2 :  educate nurture kids in clean, colorful rooms with the latest books and learning gadgets. — Sue Shellenbarger

  4. 3 :  to further the development of :  foster nurture his intellectual inclinations. — Ray Olson nurture a friendship

nurturer

play \ˈnər-chər-ər\ noun

Examples of nurture in a Sentence

  1. Teachers should nurture their students' creativity.

  2. a professor who nurtures any student who shows true interest in history

  3. The study looks at the ways parents nurture their children.

  4. You have to carefully nurture the vines if you want them to produce good grapes.

  5. She nurtured a secret ambition to be a singer.

Recent Examples of nurture from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nurture.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

It's no coincidence that nurture is a synonym of nourish-both are derived from the Latin verb nutrire, meaning "to suckle" or "to nourish." The noun nurture first appeared in English in the 14th century, but the verb didn't arrive until the 15th century. Originally, the verb nurture meant "to feed or nourish." The sense meaning "to promote the development of" didn't come into being until the end of the 18th century. Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, is credited with first giving life to that sense in her Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792): "Public spirit must be nurtured by private virtue." Other nutrire descendants in English include nutrient, nutritious, nutriment, nutrition, and, of course, nourishment.

Origin and Etymology of nurture

see 1nurture


NURTURE Defined for English Language Learners

nurture

play
noun

Definition of nurture for English Language Learners

  • : the care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing

nurture

verb

Definition of nurture for English Language Learners

  • : to help (something or someone) to grow, develop, or succeed

  • : to take care of (someone or something that is growing or developing) by providing food, protection, a place to live, etc.

  • : to hold (something, such as an idea or a strong feeling) in your mind for a long time


NURTURE Defined for Kids

1

nurture

play
noun nur·ture \ˈnər-chər\

Definition of nurture for Students

  1. 1 :  the way a person or animal was raised :  upbringing

  2. 2 :  something (as food) that is essential to healthy growth and development


2

nurture

play
verb nur·ture

Definition of nurture for Students

nurtured

;

nurturing

  1. 1 :  to provide with things (as food and protection) essential to healthy growth and development He was nurtured by loving parents.

  2. 2 :  to further the development of The teacher nurtured the students' creativity.



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to plunder or ravage

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time-traveler-quiz-which-word-came-first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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