Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
  • n. These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty.
  • n. These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture.
  • n. The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.
  • n. Intellectual and artistic activity and the works produced by it.
  • n. Development of the intellect through training or education.
  • n. Enlightenment resulting from such training or education.
  • n. A high degree of taste and refinement formed by aesthetic and intellectual training.
  • n. Special training and development: voice culture for singers and actors.
  • n. The cultivation of soil; tillage.
  • n. The breeding of animals or growing of plants, especially to produce improved stock.
  • n. Biology The growing of microorganisms, tissue cells, or other living matter in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
  • n. Biology Such a growth or colony, as of bacteria.
  • transitive v. To cultivate.
  • transitive v. To grow (microorganisms or other living matter) in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
  • transitive v. To use (a substance) as a medium for culture: culture milk.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The arts, customs, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation.
  • n. The beliefs, values, behaviour and material objects that constitute a people's way of life.
  • n. The process of growing a bacterial or other biological entity in an artificial medium.
  • n. Any knowledge passed from one generation to the next, not necessarily with respect to human beings.
  • n. The collective noun for a group of bacteria.
  • n. Cultivation.
  • n. The language and peculiarities of a geographical location.
  • v. To maintain in an environment suitable for growth (especially of bacteria).
  • v. To increase the artistic or scientific interest (in something).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or practice of cultivating, or of preparing the earth for seed and raising crops by tillage.
  • n. The act of, or any labor or means employed for, training, disciplining, or refining the moral and intellectual nature of man.
  • n. 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.
  • n.
  • n. The cultivation of bacteria or other organisms (such as fungi or eukaryotic cells from mulitcellular organisms) in artificial media or under artificial conditions.
  • n. The collection of organisms resulting from such a cultivation.
  • n. Those details of a map, collectively, which do not represent natural features of the area delineated, as names and the symbols for towns, roads, houses, bridges, meridians, and parallels.
  • transitive v. To cultivate; to educate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of tilling and preparing the earth for crops; tillage; cultivation.
  • n. The act of promoting growth in animals or plants, but especially in the latter; specifically, the process of raising plants with a view to the production of improved varieties.
  • n. Hence— In bacteriology: The propagation of bacteria or other microscopic organisms by the introduction of the germs into suitably prepared fluids or other media, or of parasitic fungi upon living plants. Also called cultivation.
  • n. The product of such culture.
  • n. The systematic improvement and refinement of the mind, especially of one's own.
  • n. The result of mental cultivation, or the state of being cultivated; refinement or enlightenment; learning and taste; in a broad sense, civilization: as, a man of culture.
  • n. The training of the human body.
  • n. The pursuit of any art or science with a view to its improvement.
  • n. Cultivated ground.
  • To cultivate: as, “cultured vales,”
  • n. In a map, all those features represented which are artificial or of human origin, such as meridians, roads, railroads, trails, ferries, bridges, houses, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a particular society at a particular time and place
  • n. all the knowledge and values shared by a society
  • n. a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality
  • n. the attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization
  • n. the tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group
  • n. the raising of plants or animals
  • n. (biology) the growing of microorganisms in a nutrient medium (such as gelatin or agar)
  • v. grow in a special preparation

Etymologies

Middle English, cultivation, from Old French, from Latin cultūra, from cultus, past participle of colere; see cultivate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin cultūra ("cultivation; culture"), from cultus, perfect passive participle of colō ("till, cultivate, worship") (related to colōnus and colōnia), from earlier *quelō, from Proto-Indo-European *kʷel- (“to move; to turn (around)”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • (c) The people of the culture farther west, the _north-west culture_, were not Mongols.

    A History of China

  • Here, too, the line of the extant culture, -- the narrow indented boundary of the _culture_ that professed to take all is always defining the new, -- cutting out the wild not yet visited by the art of man; -- only here the criticism is much more lively, because here 'we come _to particulars_,' a thing which the new philosophy -- much insists on; and though this want in learning, and the wildness it leaves, is that which makes tragedies in this method of exhibition; it has its comical aspect also; and this is the laughing and weeping philosopher in one who manages these representations; and in this case it is the comical aspect of the subject that is seized on.

    The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded

  • But trying to come up with a definition made me realize just how vast and encompassing the term "culture" actually was and how many things together make up the culture of a group or civilization.

    Zoe P. Strassfield: The Best First Day of School Ever!

  • The general tendency in American culture is away from objectivity and neutral rules and toward Who?

    The Volokh Conspiracy » The Ninth Circuit Rodriguez Opinion and Speech in Non-Academic Workplaces

  • Fully restoring New Orleans to its formerly unique and permanent place in American culture is this nation's greatest domestic challenge.

    Archive 2007-08-01

  • So, to properly evangelize in culture today, we've got to know what the culture is saying.

    Archive 2007-08-01

  • The Future of White Boy clubs at FactoryCity the issue of diversity in culture is intractable and unsolvable.

    The Future of White Boy clubs | FactoryCity

  • There are two senses in which the term culture war or cultural war is used.

    Bush is on a Mission from God

  • But the place of books in culture is neither strictly empirical nor strictly economic, and their historical-cultural valence and productivity lie as much in their reception as in the contexts of their production.

    Introduction

  • The problem with using the term culture and race synonymously is that it is not at all synonymous.

    Two Points: Tragic Mulatto is a Myth and Race is Not Culture

Comments

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  • "Culture is everything we don't have to do. Culture consists of the gratuitous stylistic extras that we add to the things we do have to do. You have to eat, but you don't have to decorate elaborately prepared curries with silver leaf. You have to move around, but you don't have to dance. Culture is a biological drive for humans. It is not something that we just add on at the end, after we've dealt with all those survival problems, but something we keep doing all the time."
    - Brian Eno.

    December 14, 2009

  • "The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it."
    -Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

    July 27, 2009