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[nur-suh-ree] /ˈnɜr sə ri/
noun, plural nurseries.
a room or place set apart for young children.
a place where young trees or other plants are raised for transplanting, for sale, or for experimental study.
any place in which something is bred, nourished, or fostered:
The art institute has been the nursery of much great painting.
any situation, condition, circumstance, practice, etc., serving to breed or foster something:
Slums are nurseries for young criminals.
Origin of nursery
First recorded in 1350-1400, nursery is from the Middle English word norcery. See nurse, -ery
Related forms
prenursery, adjective, noun, plural prenurseries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for nursery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was much nicer upstairs in the nursery with Mimi, the Angora cat.

  • Mark was in the nursery, as the children's room was still called.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • After tea I slunk away to the nursery, and sat staring into the fire.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood George MacDonald
  • And from the time he was a babe in the nursery Coryston had fulfilled it to perfection.

    The Coryston Family Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Lalkhan brought tea, and Tony went with him quite meekly to the nursery.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
British Dictionary definitions for nursery


noun (pl) -ries
  1. a room in a house set apart for use by children
  2. (as modifier): nursery wallpaper
a place where plants, young trees, etc, are grown commercially
an establishment providing residential or day care for babies and very young children; crèche
short for nursery school
anywhere serving to foster or nourish new ideas, etc
(billiards) Also called nursery cannon
  1. a series of cannons with the three balls adjacent to a cushion, esp near a corner pocket
  2. a cannon in such a series
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nursery

c.1400, "breeding, nursing," from Old French norture, norreture "food, nourishment; education, training," from Late Latin nutritia "a nursing, suckling," from Latin nutrire "to nourish, suckle" (see nourish). Meaning "place or room for infants and young children and their nurse" is from c.1300. As a type of school, 1580s. Horticultural sense is from 1560s. Nursery rhyme is from 1832.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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