To cultivate is to nurture and help grow. Farmers cultivate crops, fundraising professionals cultivate donors, and celebrities cultivate their images.

When you cultivate something, you work to make it better. Originally, the word referred only to crops that required tilling, but the meaning has widened. No matter what is being cultivated, the word implies a level of care that is reminiscent of gardening. Sometimes friendships come naturally and sometimes you have to cultivate them. To cultivate anything requires an attention to detail, an understanding of what is being cultivated, and a lot of patience.

Definitions of cultivate
  1. verb
    adapt (a wild plant or unclaimed land) to the environment
    synonyms: domesticate, naturalise, naturalize, tame
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    type of:
    accommodate, adapt
    make fit for, or change to suit a new purpose
  2. verb
    prepare for crops
    cultivate the land”
    synonyms: crop, work
    knead, work
    make uniform
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    overcrop, overcultivate
    to exhaust by excessive cultivation
    type of:
    fix, gear up, prepare, ready, set, set up
    make ready or suitable or equip in advance for a particular purpose or for some use, event, etc
  3. verb
    foster the growth of
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    farm, grow, produce, raise
    cultivate by growing, often involving improvements by means of agricultural techniques
    bear (a crop)
    produce in excess; produce more than needed or wanted
  4. verb
    teach or refine to be discriminative in taste or judgment
    Cultivate your musical taste”
    synonyms: civilise, civilize, educate, school, train
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    make less natural or innocent
    type of:
    down, fine-tune, polish, refine
    improve or perfect by pruning or polishing
Word Family

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