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[nur-suh-ree] /ˈnɜr sə ri/
noun, plural nurseries.
a room or place set apart for young children.
a place where young trees or other plants are raised for transplanting, for sale, or for experimental study.
any place in which something is bred, nourished, or fostered:
The art institute has been the nursery of much great painting.
any situation, condition, circumstance, practice, etc., serving to breed or foster something:
Slums are nurseries for young criminals.
Origin of nursery
1350-1400; Middle English norcery. See nurse, -ery
Related forms
prenursery, adjective, noun, plural prenurseries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nursery
  • Downstairs, in the game room, was a different sort of nursery.
  • At the open-air nursery, a pair of three-year-old males launched repeated attacks on me through the enclosure fence.
  • Consider whether you can dedicate a small amount of space as a nursery.
  • He probably loved it more than any other plant in his nursery-though the basils and lavenders were right up there, too.
  • They have struggled since then to get off the nursery slopes.
  • There is even one in the school nursery, beside the climbing frame and set low enough for three-year-olds to reach.
  • Then there is the general expansion of nursery education.
  • Paint and stenciling transform a nursery box into a house number.
  • Browse this nursery for all manner of plants year-round.
  • nursery pots and planting paraphernalia stay put in these cleverly constructed garden shelves.
British Dictionary definitions for nursery


noun (pl) -ries
  1. a room in a house set apart for use by children
  2. (as modifier): nursery wallpaper
a place where plants, young trees, etc, are grown commercially
an establishment providing residential or day care for babies and very young children; crèche
short for nursery school
anywhere serving to foster or nourish new ideas, etc
(billiards) Also called nursery cannon
  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
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
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Word Origin and History for nursery

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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