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1868, in reference to the raising of plants or animals, from Latin cultura "tillage" (see culture) + -al (1). In reference to the cultivation of the mind, from 1875; hence, "relating to civilization or a civilization." A fertile starter-word among anthropologists and sociologists: e.g. cultural diffusion, in use by 1912; cultural diversity by 1935; cultural imperialism by 1937; cultural pluralism by 1932; cultural relativism by 1948.