[ nur-ish-muhnt, nuhr- ]
/ ˈnɜr ɪʃ mənt, ˈnʌr- /
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something that nourishes; food, nutriment, or sustenance.
the act of nourishing.
the state of being nourished.
a process, system, method, etc., of providing or administering nourishment: a treatise on the nourishment of international trade.
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Origin of nourishment

1375–1425; late Middle English norysshement<Middle French norissement.See nourish, -ment

OTHER WORDS FROM nourishment

non·nour·ish·ment, nouno·ver·nour·ish·ment, nounre·nour·ish·ment, nounself-nour·ish·ment, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does nourishment mean?

Nourishment is something that nourishes—does or provides what’s needed for someone or something to be healthy and to grow and develop.

It can also refer to the act of nourishing or the state of being nourished. Nourish and nourishment are most commonly used in relation to food. Healthy food provides nourishment. Parents try to provide nourishment for their children by feeding them healthy foods. Sometimes, food is said to nourish more than the body, as in A warm, home-cooked meal is nourishment for the body and the spirit. 

However, nourishment can be used in many other contexts, including those that don’t involve food, as in educational nourishment.

In all of these senses, nourishment is a somewhat formal and perhaps poetic word—it usually refers to something that serves to sustain rather than just feed.

Example: As a mother, it’s my job to provide physical, mental, and emotional nourishment for my kids.

Where does nourishment come from?

The first records of the word nourishment come from around 1400. The suffix -ment is used to make it a noun. Its base word, nourish, comes from the Latin verb nūtrīre, meaning “to feed” or “to care for.” The words nurture, nutrition, nutritious, and nurse are based on the same root.

Nourishment is closely associated with food, and even its senses that don’t literally involve food are usually likened to the kind of nourishment that food provides for the body. This is almost always positive: love and affection provide emotional nourishment; learning provides mental nourishment.

The word malnourishment means the same thing as malnutrition—poor nutrition caused by a lack of nourishing food.

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What are some other forms related to nourishment?

What are some synonyms for nourishment?

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

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

How is nourishment used in real life?

Nourishment and its related words are closely associated with food, but they can be used in a variety of contexts.


Try using nourishment!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of nourishment?

A. sustenance
B. nurture
C. weakness
D. nutrition

How to use nourishment in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nourishment

/ (ˈnʌrɪʃmənt) /

the act or state of nourishing
a substance that nourishes; food; nutriment
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

Medical definitions for nourishment

[ nûrĭsh-mənt ]

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