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

  • n. Something that nourishes; sustenance.
  • n. The act of bringing up.
  • n. Biology The sum of environmental influences and conditions acting on an organism.
  • transitive v. To nourish; feed.
  • transitive v. To educate; train.
  • transitive v. To help grow or develop; cultivate: nurture a student's talent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of nourishing or nursing; tender care; education; training.
  • n. That which nourishes; food; diet.
  • n. The environmental influences that contribute to the development of an individual; see also nature.
  • v. to nourish or nurse

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of nourishing or nursing; tender care; education; training.
  • n. That which nourishes; food; diet.
  • transitive v. To feed; to nourish.
  • transitive v. To educate; to bring or train up.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To feed; nourish.
  • To educate; bring or train up.
  • Synonyms and Nurse, Nourish, Nurture. These words are of the same origin. Nurse has the least, and nourish much, of figurative use. Nurture expresses most of thoughtful care and moral discipline: it is not now used in any but this secondary sense.
  • To instruct, school, rear, breed, discipline.
  • n. The act of supplying with nourishment; the act or process of cultivating or promoting growth.
  • n. Upbringing; training; discipline; instruction; education; breeding, especially good breeding.
  • n. Nourishment; that which nourishes; food; diet.
  • n. Synonyms Training, Discipline, etc. (see instruction), schooling.

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

  • v. provide with nourishment
  • n. the properties acquired as a consequence of the way you were treated as a child
  • n. helping someone grow up to be an accepted member of the community
  • v. bring up
  • v. help develop, help grow


Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin nūtrītūra, act of suckling, from Latin nūtrītus, past participle of nūtrīre, to suckle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English norture, noriture, from Old French norriture, norreture, from Late Latin nutritura ("nourishment"), from Latin nutrire ("to nourish"). (Wiktionary)



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