View synonyms for culture


[ kuhl-cher ]


  1. the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.
  2. that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.
  3. a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period:

    Greek culture.

  4. development or improvement of the mind by education or training.
  5. the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular group of people, as a social, ethnic, professional, or age group (usually used in combination):

    the youth culture; the drug culture.

  6. the shared beliefs, behaviors, or social environment connected with a particular aspect of society:

    the rape culture on campus; the culture of poverty; a culture of celebrity worship.

  7. the values, typical practices, and goals of a business or other organization, especially a large corporation:

    Their corporate culture frowns on avoiding risk.

  8. Anthropology. the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.
  9. Biology.
    1. the cultivation of microorganisms, as bacteria, or of tissues, for scientific study, medicinal use, etc.
    2. the product or growth resulting from such cultivation.
  10. the act or practice of cultivating the soil; tillage.
  11. the raising of plants or animals, especially with a view to their improvement.
  12. the product or growth resulting from such cultivation.

verb (used with object)

, cul·tured, cul·tur·ing.
  1. to subject to culture; cultivate.
  2. Biology.
    1. to grow (microorganisms, tissues, etc.) in or on a controlled or defined medium.
    2. to introduce (living material) into a culture medium.


/ ˈkʌltʃə /


  1. the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, which constitute the shared bases of social action
  2. the total range of activities and ideas of a group of people with shared traditions, which are transmitted and reinforced by members of the group

    the Mayan culture

  3. a particular civilization at a particular period
  4. the artistic and social pursuits, expression, and tastes valued by a society or class, as in the arts, manners, dress, etc
  5. the enlightenment or refinement resulting from these pursuits
  6. the attitudes, feelings, values, and behaviour that characterize and inform society as a whole or any social group within it

    yob culture

  7. the cultivation of plants, esp by scientific methods designed to improve stock or to produce new ones
  8. stockbreeding the rearing and breeding of animals, esp with a view to improving the strain
  9. the act or practice of tilling or cultivating the soil
  10. biology
    1. the experimental growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, in a nutrient substance (culture medium), usually under controlled conditions See also culture medium
    2. a group of microorganisms grown in this way


  1. to cultivate (plants or animals)
  2. to grow (microorganisms) in a culture medium


/ kŭlchər /


  1. A growth of microorganisms, viruses, or tissue cells in a specially prepared nutrient medium under supervised conditions.
  2. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought. Culture is learned and shared within social groups and is transmitted by nongenetic means.


  1. To grow microorganisms, viruses, or tissue cells in a nutrient medium.


  1. The sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, and art, from one generation to the next.

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Culture also refers to refined music, art, and literature; one who is well versed in these subjects is considered “cultured.”
Anthropologists consider that the requirements for culture (language use, tool making, and conscious regulation of sex) are essential features that distinguish humans from other animals.

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Derived Forms

  • ˈcultureless, adjective
  • ˈculturist, noun

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Other Words From

  • anti·culture noun
  • inter·culture adjective
  • inter·culture noun
  • multi·culture noun
  • non·culture noun
  • pre·culture noun
  • super·culture noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of culture1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English: “tilling, place tilled,” from Anglo-French, Middle French, from Latin cultūra “cultivation, agriculture, tillage, care.” See cult, -ure

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Word History and Origins

Origin of culture1

C15: from Old French, from Latin cultūra a cultivating, from colere to till; see cult

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

Plenty of cultures have their own version of rice cakes, but we can partially thank a botanist named Alexander Pierce Anderson for laying the groundwork for the American rice cake as we know it.

From Eater

We have a problem with poverty and resources in communities that happen to include a culture of gangs.

While many brands understandably use a variety of global and local ambassadors, dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone.

From Fortune

They are distanced from the food and water sources they depend on, and they are part of a culture that sees every problem as capable of being solved by money.

Fitzgibbons said that drop culture works because people like to buy into the perceived exclusivity and being able to boast that they were one of the few people able to purchase that item.

From Digiday

Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so.

I don't know why or who's doing it, but it's the legacy…and it's a legacy that is so important to the culture.

A lot of the culture around movies in the sci-fi/fantasy genre is about deconstructing them ad nauseam.

Whether he gets his full due in popular culture remains to be seen.

If the oft-talked-about college “hook-up culture” could be embodied by a place, it would be Shooters.

In Cuba its culture commenced in 1580, and from this and the other islands large quantities were shipped to Europe.

The culture of expression is a very different thing from the artful imitation of the signs of feeling and purpose.

Yet a child coming under the humanising influences of culture soon gets far away from the level of the savage.

Its culture however was looked upon with the same disapproval by Charles II.

It would be a modest guess that Accadian culture implied a growth of at least ten thousand years.


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More About Culture

What does culture mean?

Culture is a collection of behaviors and beliefs associated with a particular group, as in Ming adores Mexican culture, especially Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

Culture is also the quality of a person or group of people that comes from appreciating excellence in the arts, fashion, manners, and other characteristics of a society, as in A person of culture, Damon frequently attends the symphony and theater.

To culture someone is to expose them to culture, particularly to one that is not their own.

In biology and agriculture, a culture is a specific, enclosed group of organisms, such as a cell culture or a group of plants or animals that are separated from the rest.

Related to this sense, to culture means to grow such a group of organisms.

Example: The culture at my office is one of respect and interest in each others’ projects.

Where does culture come from?

The first records of the term culture come from the early 1400s. It ultimately comes from the Latin cultūra, meaning “cultivation, agriculture, tillage, care.”

Because culture often directly connects to a certain type of art or experience, it will often be paired with a word that describes it, such as Greek culture or punk culture. Culture is often a way that ethnicities, religions, races, and a variety of social and personal factors are lumped together to describe someone’s background.

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What are some other forms related to culture?

What are some synonyms for culture?

What are some words that share a root or word element with culture

What are some words that often get used in discussing culture?

How is culture used in real life?

Culture is a common word that most often refers to behaviors and beliefs associated with a particular group.



Try using culture!

Is culture used correctly in the following sentence?

Scientists who study cell cultures spend a lot of time using powerful microscopes.




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