enlightened; refined.
artificially nurtured or grown: cultured bacteria.
cultivated; tilled.

Nearby words

  1. culture specific syndrome,
  2. culture trait,
  3. culture vulture,
  4. culture war,
  5. culture-free test,
  6. cultured pearl,
  7. culturist,
  8. culturology,
  9. culturomics,
  10. cultus

Origin of cultured

First recorded in 1735–45; culture + -ed2

Related formsnon·cul·tured, adjectiveo·ver·cul·tured, adjectivesem·i·cul·tured, adjectivewell-cul·tured, adjective

Can be confusedcultivated cultured




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.
that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.
a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period: Greek culture.
development or improvement of the mind by education or training.
the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.
Anthropology. the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.
  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.
the act or practice of cultivating the soil; tillage.
the raising of plants or animals, especially with a view to their improvement.
the product or growth resulting from such cultivation.

verb (used with object), cul·tured, cul·tur·ing.

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

Origin of culture

1400–50; late Middle English: tilling, place tilled (< Anglo-French) < Latin cultūra. See cult, -ure

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cultured

British Dictionary definitions for cultured



showing or having good taste, manners, upbringing, and education
artificially grown or synthesizedcultured pearls
sport of superior quality, as though the product of special traininga cultured left foot; a cultured backhand



the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, which constitute the shared bases of social action
the total range of activities and ideas of a group of people with shared traditions, which are transmitted and reinforced by members of the groupthe Mayan culture
a particular civilization at a particular period
the artistic and social pursuits, expression, and tastes valued by a society or class, as in the arts, manners, dress, etc
the enlightenment or refinement resulting from these pursuits
the attitudes, feelings, values, and behaviour that characterize and inform society as a whole or any social group within ityob culture
the cultivation of plants, esp by scientific methods designed to improve stock or to produce new ones
stockbreeding the rearing and breeding of animals, esp with a view to improving the strain
the act or practice of tilling or cultivating the soil
  1. the experimental growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, in a nutrient substance (culture medium), usually under controlled conditionsSee also culture medium
  2. a group of microorganisms grown in this way

verb (tr)

to cultivate (plants or animals)
to grow (microorganisms) in a culture medium
Derived Formsculturist, nouncultureless, adjective

Word Origin for culture

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

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

Word Origin and History for cultured
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for cultured




The growing of microorganisms, tissue cells, or other living matter in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
Such a growth or colony, as of bacteria.


To grow microorganisms or other living matter in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
To use a substance as a medium for culture.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for cultured




A growth of microorganisms, viruses, or tissue cells in a specially prepared nutrient medium under supervised conditions.
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.


To grow microorganisms, viruses, or tissue cells in a nutrient medium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for cultured


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.


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.


Culture also refers to refined music, art, and literature; one who is well versed in these subjects is considered “cultured.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.