[ nur-cher ]
See synonyms for nurture on
verb (used with object),nur·tured, nur·tur·ing.
  1. to feed and protect: to nurture one's offspring.

  2. to support and encourage, as during the period of training or development; foster: to nurture promising musicians.

  1. to bring up; train; educate.

  1. rearing, upbringing, training, education, or the like.

  2. development: the nurture of young artists.

  1. something that nourishes; nourishment; food.

Origin of nurture

First recorded in 1300–50; (noun) Middle English norture, from Middle French, variant of nourriture, from Late Latin nūtrītūra “a nourishing,” equivalent to Latin nūtrīt(us) (past participle of nūtrīre “to feed”) + -ūra noun suffix; see nourish, -ure; (verb) derivative of the noun

synonym study For nurture

1, 3. See nurse.

Other words from nurture

  • nur·tur·a·ble, adjective
  • nur·ture·less, adjective
  • nur·tur·er, noun
  • un·nur·tured, adjective
  • well-nur·tured, adjective

Words Nearby nurture Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nurture in a sentence

  • They troubled themselves with no theories of education, but mingled gentle nurture with “wholesome neglect.”

    Eric, or Little by Little | Frederic W. Farrar
  • Anxious, to excess, to bring them up in orthodox nurture and admonition: and this is how they reward me, Herr Feldzeugmeister!

  • In making such a sacrifice they are but repaying the debt of nurture.

    American Sketches | Charles Whibley
  • Sane, honorable evangelism never excludes Christian nurture any more than the sunlight obviates the necessity of soil cultivation.

    The United Seas | Robert W. Rogers
  • If he does break silence it will probably be in terms of the religious cult that has given him nurture.

British Dictionary definitions for nurture


/ (ˈnɜːtʃə) /

  1. the act or process of promoting the development, etc, of a child

  2. something that nourishes

  1. biology the environmental factors that partly determine the structure of an organism: See also nature (def. 12)

  1. to feed or support

  2. to educate or train

Origin of nurture

C14: from Old French norriture, from Latin nutrīre to nourish

Derived forms of nurture

  • nurturable, adjective
  • nurturer, noun

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