• synonyms


  1. the act or art of cultivating.
  2. the state of being cultivated.
  3. culture; refinement.
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Origin of cultivation

First recorded in 1690–1700; cultivate + -ion
Related formsnon·cul·ti·va·tion, nouno·ver·cul·ti·va·tion, nounpre·cul·ti·va·tion, nounre·cul·ti·va·tion, nounself-cul·ti·va·tion, nounun·cul·ti·va·tion, noun


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for over-cultivation

Historical Examples

  • Or, worse than that even, that one loses his taste by over-cultivation?

    The Complete Essays of C. D. Warner

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • He passed many sumptuary laws, and issued an edict forbidding the over-cultivation of vines to the neglect of corn-growing.

  • But unfortunately in the later chapters, over-cultivation of these traits has increasingly annulled and extinguished her own.

  • The over-cultivation of physical strength leads to mental callousness and brutality.

    Temporal Power

    Marie Corelli

  • But there is something sadder—the monster of over-cultivation, the wreck of schools, the priggish fanatic of godlessness.

British Dictionary definitions for over-cultivation


  1. agriculture
    1. the planting, tending, improving, or harvesting of crops or plants
    2. the preparation of ground to promote their growth
  2. development, esp through education, training, etc
  3. culture or sophistication, esp social refinement
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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 over-cultivation



c.1700, of knowledge, etc., a figurative use, from French cultivation (16c.), noun of action from cultiver, from Latin cultivare "to till" (see cultivate). Meaning "raising of a plant or crop" is from 1719; literal sense of "tilling of the land" is from 1725.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

over-cultivation in Medicine


  1. The process of promoting the growth of a biological culture.
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Related formsculti•vate′ v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.