[ verb suhb-kuhl-cher; noun suhb-kuhl-cher ]
/ verb sʌbˈkʌl tʃər; noun ˈsʌbˌkʌl tʃər /

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

Bacteriology. to cultivate (a bacterial strain) again on a new medium.


Bacteriology. a culture derived in this manner.
  1. the cultural values and behavioral patterns distinctive of a particular group in a society.
  2. a group having social, economic, ethnic, or other traits distinctive enough to distinguish it from others within the same culture or society.

Origin of subculture

First recorded in 1895–1900; sub- + culture
Related formssub·cul·tur·al, adjectivesub·cul·tur·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for subculture

British Dictionary definitions for subculture


noun (ˈsʌbˌkʌltʃə)

a subdivision of a national culture or an enclave within it with a distinct integrated network of behaviour, beliefs, and attitudes
a culture of microorganisms derived from another culture

verb (sʌbˈkʌltʃə)

(tr) to inoculate (bacteria from one culture medium) onto another medium
Derived Formssubcultural, adjective
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 subculture



1886, in reference to bacterial cultures, from sub- + culture (n.). From 1936 in reference to human cultures.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for subculture


[ sŭbkŭl′chər ]


A culture made by transferring to a fresh medium microorganisms from a previous culture.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture definitions for subculture


A group within a society that has its own shared set of customs, attitudes, and values, often accompanied by jargon or slang. A subculture can be organized around a common activity, occupation, age, status, ethnic background, race, religion, or any other unifying social condition, but the term is often used to describe deviant groups, such as thieves and drug users. (See counterculture.)

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.