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culture Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a particular society at a particular time and place
    civilization; civilisation.
    • early Mayan civilization
  2. noun the tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group
  3. noun all the knowledge and values shared by a society
  4. noun (biology) the growing of microorganisms in a nutrient medium (such as gelatin or agar)
    • the culture of cells in a Petri dish
  5. noun a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality
    polish; cultivation; finish; refinement.
    • they performed with great polish
    • I admired the exquisite refinement of his prose
    • almost an inspiration which gives to all work that finish which is almost art"--Joseph Conrad
  6. noun the attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization
    • the developing drug culture
    • the reason that the agency is doomed to inaction has something to do with the FBI culture
  7. noun the raising of plants or animals
    • the culture of oysters
  8. verb grow in a special preparation
    • the biologist grows microorganisms

Cul"ture noun
F. culture, L. cultura, fr. colere to till, cultivate; of uncertain origin. Cf. Colony.
  1. The act or practice of cultivating, or of preparing the earth for seed and raising crops by tillage; as, the culture of the soil.
  2. The act of, or any labor or means employed for, training, disciplining, or refining the moral and intellectual nature of man; as. the culture of the mind.
    If vain our toil We ought to blame theculture, not the soil. Pepe.
  3. The state of being cultivated; result of cultivation; physical improvement; enlightenment and discipline acquired by mental and moral training; civilization; refinement in manners and taste.
    What the Greeks expressed by their , the Romans by their humanitas, we less happily try to express by the more artificial word culture. J. C. Shairp.
    The list of all the items of the general life of a people represents that whole which we call its culture. Tylor.
Cul"ture transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Cultured present participle & verbal noun Culturing
  1. To cultivate; to educate.
    They came . . . into places well inhabited and cultured. Usher.

Webster 1913