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nursery

[nur-suh-ree]
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noun, plural nurs·er·ies.
  1. a room or place set apart for young children.
  2. a nursery school or day nursery.
  3. a place where young trees or other plants are raised for transplanting, for sale, or for experimental study.
  4. any place in which something is bred, nourished, or fostered: The art institute has been the nursery of much great painting.
  5. any situation, condition, circumstance, practice, etc., serving to breed or foster something: Slums are nurseries for young criminals.
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Origin of nursery

First recorded in 1350–1400, nursery is from the Middle English word norcery. See nurse, -ery
Related formspre·nurs·er·y, adjective, noun, plural pre·nurs·er·ies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for nursery

nursery

noun plural -ries
    1. a room in a house set apart for use by children
    2. (as modifier)nursery wallpaper
  1. a place where plants, young trees, etc, are grown commercially
  2. an establishment providing residential or day care for babies and very young children; crèche
  3. short for nursery school
  4. anywhere serving to foster or nourish new ideas, etc
  5. Also called: nursery cannon billiards
    1. a series of cannons with the three balls adjacent to a cushion, esp near a corner pocket
    2. a cannon in such a series
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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 nursery

n.

c.1400, "breeding, nursing," from Old French norture, norreture "food, nourishment; education, training," from Late Latin nutritia "a nursing, suckling," from Latin nutrire "to nourish, suckle" (see nourish). Meaning "place or room for infants and young children and their nurse" is from c.1300. As a type of school, 1580s. Horticultural sense is from 1560s. Nursery rhyme is from 1832.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper