verb (used with object), cul·ti·vat·ed, cul·ti·vat·ing.
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Origin of cultivate
OTHER WORDS FROM cultivateo·ver·cul·ti·vate, verb (used with object), o·ver·cul·ti·vat·ed, o·ver·cul·ti·vat·ing.pre·cul·ti·vate, verb (used with object), pre·cul·ti·vat·ed, pre·cul·ti·vat·ing.re·cul·ti·vate, verb (used with object), re·cul·ti·vat·ed, re·cul·ti·vat·ing.
Words nearby cultivate
What does cultivate mean?
When used literally, cultivate means to take steps to grow something or improve its growth, especially crops. When used figuratively, it means much the same thing, except that the thing being grown or improved is often an abstract thing, such as a business or a friendship.
The literal sense of cultivate is most often used in the context of agriculture, but it can also refer to things being grown in a laboratory. Its figurative sense can apply to many different things, such as relationships, skills, and even cultures.
Example: Farmers have cultivated a variety of crops in this region.
Where does cultivate come from?
The first records of the word cultivate come from around 1600. It grew out of the Medieval Latin word cultīvātus, which ultimately derives from the Latin verb colere, meaning “to till,” “to toil over,” “to care for,” or “to worship.” Colere is also the basis of the words cult, culture, and agriculture, among many others.
To cultivate isn’t just to grow something. It’s to prepare and work for its growth, and to tend to it as it grows. Cultivating the land for crops often first involves tilling (or plowing) it. (A machine that does this is called a cultivator). It also involves planting seeds and then watering them and making sure they are growing properly. When crops and plants are cultivated, they are taken care of until they are ready to be harvested. When something is cultivated in a lab, it means an organism is grown (or cultured) in a controlled environment.
You can see why this process is used as a metaphor for growing something like a friendship. To cultivate a friendship, you have to first gain someone’s trust, and then continue to build the relationship until it blossoms, so to speak. The word cultivate is often applied to the idea of building such relationships. Journalists cultivate their sources by building trust with them. Businesspeople cultivate their contacts the same way.
Other things can be cultivated, such as skills, interests, or even cultures. In every case, care must be taken so that such things can take root and continue to thrive.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to cultivate?
- cultivation (noun)
- cultivator (noun)
- overcultivate (verb)
- precultivate (verb)
- recultivate (verb)
What are some synonyms for cultivate?
What are some words that share a root or word element with cultivate?
What are some words that often get used in discussing cultivate?
How is cultivate used in real life?
Cultivate is most commonly used in a literal sense in the context of agriculture to refer to growing crops. But it is also used in many different figurative ways.
Secondary students visit to QIU Sustainable Agri-Research. Showing them how to cultivate healthy and nutritious greens using different farming techniques, and how knowledge and technologies can be applied to improve crop productivity. @qiup_edu @biotechnology @fromfarmtotable pic.twitter.com/3bUuOA9f39
— Teh Chui Yao (@ChuiYao) March 6, 2020
Best parts of the NFL Combine: advocating for our players (#1), making new connections, encouraging (and hopefully influencing) the next generation of sports professionals, & continuing to cultivate friendships across the league.
— Kelli Masters Mgmt (@KMMsports) February 29, 2020
Donovan tells aspiring journalists: when you meet people, treat them well. Cultivate sources.
— Laura Payton (@laura_payton) March 12, 2015
Try using cultivate!
Which of the following words is an antonym (opposite) of cultivate?
Example sentences from the Web for cultivate
An extension of the conference business, Murray said that Connect will link conferences to the digital reader revenue business that the company recently began to cultivate last year with the launch of its three-tiered paywall.Fortune Connect is bringing its conference business to a larger audience, with a higher price tag|Kayleigh Barber|September 15, 2020|Digiday
Curtis said senior leaders need to cultivate an atmosphere of mutual care in the workplace, rather than treating team members as disposable units of productivity.Deep Dive: How companies and their employees are facing the future of work|Digiday|September 1, 2020|Digiday
I was lucky enough for Kevin Lee, who helped cultivate the search industry in so many ways, to come out to my house and do an interview in a socially-distant manner.Video: Search veteran Kevin Lee on why digital PR is key for SEO|Barry Schwartz|August 31, 2020|Search Engine Land
Such a policy required Japan to have a very close relationship with the United States, which Abe pursued and cultivated throughout his time in power.Abe Shinzo, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, steps down over health concerns|Alex Ward|August 28, 2020|Vox
Since Google pulled out of China in 2010 over the government’s censorship of search results, China has cultivated a walled garden of applications primarily for use by its citizens.
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy used it to cultivate right-wing anti-immigrant voters.Abu Dhabi Stabbing: Why Law Enforcement Hates The Niqab & Burqa|Christopher Dickey|December 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And Facebook, under COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg, has attempted to cultivate a reputation for being friendly to parents.Don’t Be Fooled by Apple and Facebook, Egg Freezing Is Not a Benefit|Samantha Allen|October 17, 2014|DAILY BEAST
With Bruce Wayne out of the picture, Dick Grayson is free to cultivate that hitherto underdeveloped aspect of his abilities.The CIA Spook Turned Comic Book Scribe: Robin Grabs a Gun in ‘Grayson’|Rich Goldstein|June 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Perhaps the general did not cultivate his fame as “The Marble Man,” but he earned it.
Dredging up Lewinsky, on the other hand, shows that some care was taken to cultivate conservatives.Rand Paul Woos the Base With Hot Monica Lewinsky Talk|Michael Tomasky|February 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The early colonists brought with them a limited knowledge of swimming, but they did not have the leisure to cultivate this skill.Women's Bathing and Swimming Costume in the United States|Claudia B. Kidwell
But the Alcalde was the chief influence in the town, and it was policy to cultivate him.Carmen Ariza|Charles Francis Stocking
To seek their society without cause, to choose their company, to cultivate intimacy with them, is very dangerous to the soul.Practical Religion|John Charles Ryle
These Indians cultivate the land in common, and when the crop is gathered, it is divided after recognized laws of their own.Aztec Land|Maturin M. Ballou
He also had a right to cultivate any unoccupied land, and add it to his own.Omaha sociology (1884 N 03 / 1881-1882 (pages 205-370))|James Owen Dorsey