verb (used with object), cultivated, cultivating.
to prepare and work on (land) in order to raise crops; till.
to use a cultivator on.
to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention.
to produce by culture: to cultivate a strain of bacteria.
to develop or improve by education or training; train; refine: to cultivate a singing voice.
to promote the growth or development of (an art, science, etc.); foster.
to devote oneself to (an art, science, etc.).
to seek to promote or foster (friendship, love, etc.).
to seek the acquaintance or friendship of (a person).

1610–20; < Medieval Latin cultīvātus (past participle of cultīvāre to till), equivalent to cultīv(us) (Latin cult(us), past participle of colere to care for, till (cf. cult) + -īvus -ive) + -ātus -ate1

overcultivate, verb (used with object), overcultivated, overcultivating.
precultivate, verb (used with object), precultivated, precultivating.
recultivate, verb (used with object), recultivated, recultivating. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cultivate (ˈkʌltɪˌveɪt)
1.  to till and prepare (land or soil) for the growth of crops
2.  to plant, tend, harvest, or improve (plants) by labour and skill
3.  to break up (land or soil) with a cultivator or hoe
4.  to improve or foster (the mind, body, etc) as by study, education, or labour
5.  to give special attention to: to cultivate a friendship; to cultivate a hobby
6.  to give or bring culture to (a person, society, etc); civilize
[C17: from Medieval Latin cultivāre to till, from Old French cultiver, from Medieval Latin cultīvus cultivable, from Latin cultus cultivated, from colere to till, toil over]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1620, from M.L. cultivatus, pp. of cultivare, from L.L. cultivus "tilled," from L. cultus (see cult). Figurative sense of "improve by training or education" is from 1680s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Second, the ideal environment for cultivating the unknown is to nurture the
  supreme agility and nimbleness of networks.
She had spent two years cultivating a potential donor to make a
  multimillion-dollar gift to her college.
Anyone who has ever nibbled on a raw acorn might doubt that the things are
  edible, let alone worth cultivating.
Businessmen often neglect their firms because they spend so much time
  cultivating political connections.
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