culture

A culture is a specific group of people during a particular time — like the hippie culture of the 1960's. Culture can also imply exposure to the arts. Visit a museum if you are in need of a dose of culture.

A useful thing to remember about culture is that it is closely related to cultivate, whose root meaning is "to till the soil." Even in Latin, the source language, cultura was used metaphorically (Cicero said philosophy was cultura animi, the "cultivation of the soul"), and in English it moved from the agricultural sense to training, development of language and literature, mental development through education, and finally the ideas, customs, and intellectual and artistic conditions of a society or group.

Primary Meanings of culture

1.
n
all the knowledge and values shared by a society
2.
nv
(biology) the growing of microorganisms in a nutrient medium (such as gelatin or agar)
grow in a special preparation
3.
n
the raising of plants or animals
4.
n
a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality
Full Definitions of culture
1

n all the knowledge and values shared by a society

Synonyms:
acculturation
Types:
meme
a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one person to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation)
Type of:
cognitive content, content, mental object
the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned

n a particular society at a particular time and place

Synonyms:
civilisation, civilization
Types:
show 10 types...
hide 10 types...
Aegean civilisation, Aegean civilization, Aegean culture
the prehistoric civilization on the islands in the Aegean sea and the surrounding countries
Helladic civilisation, Helladic civilization, Helladic culture
the bronze-age culture of mainland Greece that flourished 2500-1100 BC
Indus civilization
the bronze-age culture of the Indus valley that flourished from about 2600-1750 BC
Minoan civilisation, Minoan civilization, Minoan culture
the bronze-age culture of Crete that flourished 3000-1100 BC
Mycenaean civilisation, Mycenaean civilization, Mycenaean culture
the late bronze-age culture of Mycenae that flourished 1400-1100 BC
Paleo-American culture, Paleo-Amerind culture, Paleo-Indian culture
the prehistoric culture of the earliest human inhabitants of North America and South America
Western civilization, Western culture
the modern culture of western Europe and North America
Cyclades, Cycladic civilisation, Cycladic civilization, Cycladic culture
the Bronze Age civilization on the Cyclades islands in the southern Aegean Sea that flourished 3000-1100 BC
Clovis culture
the Paleo-American culture of Central America and North America; distinguished chiefly by sharp fluted projectile points made of obsidian or chalcedony
Folsom culture
the Paleo-American culture of Central America and North America; distinguished chiefly by a thin finely made flint projectile point having the shape of a leaf
Type of:
society
an extended social group having a distinctive cultural and economic organization

n the attitudes and behavior that are characteristic of a particular social group or organization

“the developing drug culture
“the reason that the agency is doomed to inaction has something to do with the FBI culture
Types:
cyberculture
the culture that emerges from the use of computers for communication and entertainment and business
Kalashnikov culture
the attitudes and behavior in a social group that resolves political disputes by force of arms
mosaic culture
a highly diverse culture
Type of:
attitude, mental attitude
a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways

n the tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group

Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
counterculture
a culture with lifestyles and values opposed to those of the established culture
mass culture
the culture that is widely disseminated via the mass media
letters
the literary culture
flower power
a counterculture of young people in the US during the 1960s and 70s
Type of:
appreciation, discernment, perceptiveness, taste
delicate discrimination (especially of aesthetic values)
2

n (biology) the growing of microorganisms in a nutrient medium (such as gelatin or agar)

“the culture of cells in a Petri dish”
Types:
starter
a culture containing yeast or bacteria that is used to start the process of fermentation or souring in making butter or cheese or dough
Type of:
development, growing, growth, maturation, ontogenesis, ontogeny
(biology) the process of an individual organism growing organically; a purely biological unfolding of events involved in an organism changing gradually from a simple to a more complex level

v grow in a special preparation

Type of:
grow
cause to grow or develop
3

n the raising of plants or animals

“the culture of oysters”
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
cranberry culture
the cultivation of cranberries
monoculture
the cultivation of a single crop (on a farm or area or country)
tillage
the cultivation of soil for raising crops
viniculture, viticulture
the cultivation of grapes and grape vines; grape growing
Type of:
cultivation
(agriculture) production of food by preparing the land to grow crops (especially on a large scale)
4

n a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality

Synonyms:
cultivation, finish, polish, refinement
Type of:
flawlessness, ne plus ultra, perfection
the state of being without a flaw or defect

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.