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mid-15c., "the tilling of land," from Middle French culture and directly from Latin cultura "a cultivating, agriculture," figuratively "care, culture, an honoring," from past participle stem of colere "tend, guard, cultivate, till" (see cult). The figurative sense of "cultivation through education" is first attested c.1500. Meaning "the intellectual side of civilization" is from 1805; that of "collective customs and achievements of a people" is from 1867.
For without culture or holiness, which are always the gift of a very few, a man may renounce wealth or any other external thing, but he cannot renounce hatred, envy, jealousy, revenge. Culture is the sanctity of the intellect. [William Butler Yeats]Slang culture vulture is from 1947. Culture shock first recorded 1940.
culture cul·ture (kŭl'chər)
The growing of microorganisms, tissue cells, or other living matter in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
Such a growth or colony, as of bacteria.
To grow microorganisms or other living matter in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
To use a substance as a medium for culture.
Verb To grow microorganisms, viruses, or tissue cells in a nutrient medium.
The sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another. Culture is transmitted, through language, material objects, ritual, institutions, and art, from one generation to the next.
Note: Anthropologists consider that the requirements for culture (language use, tool making, and conscious regulation of sex) are essential features that distinguish humans from other animals.
Note: Culture also refers to refined music, art, and literature; one who is well versed in these subjects is considered “cultured.”