What does culture mean?

Definitions for culture
ˈkʌl tʃərcul·ture

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word culture.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. culture, civilization, civilisationnoun

    a particular society at a particular time and place

    "early Mayan civilization"

  2. culturenoun

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

  3. acculturation, culturenoun

    all the knowledge and values shared by a society

  4. culturenoun

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

    "the culture of cells in a Petri dish"

  5. polish, refinement, culture, cultivation, finishnoun

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

    "they performed with great polish"; "I admired the exquisite refinement of his prose"; "almost an inspiration which gives to all work that finish which is almost art"--Joseph Conrad

  6. culturenoun

    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"

  7. cultureverb

    the raising of plants or animals

    "the culture of oysters"

  8. cultureverb

    grow in a special preparation

    "the biologist grows microorganisms"


  1. Culturenoun

    (Biol.) (a) The cultivation of bacteria or other organisms (such as fungi or eukaryotic cells from mulitcellular organisms) in artificial media or under artificial conditions. (b) The collection of organisms resulting from such a cultivation. The growth of cells obtained from multicellular animals or plants in artificial media is called tissue culture.


  1. culturenoun

    The arts, customs, and habits that characterize a particular society or nation.

  2. culturenoun

    The beliefs, values, behaviour and material objects that constitute a people's way of life.

  3. culturenoun

    The process of growing a bacterial or other biological entity in an artificial medium.

  4. culturenoun

    Any knowledge passed from one generation to the next, not necessarily with respect to human beings.

  5. culturenoun

    The collective noun for a group of bacteria.

  6. culturenoun


    The Culture of Spring-Flowering Bulbs

  7. culturenoun

    The language and peculiarities of a geographical location.

    A culture is the combination of the language that you speak and the geographical location you belong to. It also includes the way you represent dates, times and currencies. ... Examples: en-UK, en-US, de-AT, fr-BE, etc.

  8. cultureverb

    To maintain in an environment suitable for growth (especially of bacteria).

  9. cultureverb

    To increase the artistic or scientific interest (in something).

  10. Etymology: From cultura, from cultus, perfect passive participle of colo (related to colonus and colonia), from earlier *, from kʷel-.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. CULTUREnoun

    Etymology: cultura, Latin.

    Give us seed unto our heart, and culture to our understanding, that there may come fruit of it. 2 Esd viii. 6.

    These three last were slower than the ordinary wheat of itself, and this culture did rather retard than advance. Francis Bacon.

    The plough was not invented ’till after the deluge; the earth requiring little or no care or culture, but yielding its increase freely, and without labour and toil. John Woodward.

    Where grows? —— Where grows it not? If vain our toil,
    We ought to blame the culture, not the soil.
    Fix’d to no spot is happiness sincere. Alexander Pope, Essay on Man.

    They rose as vigorous as the sun;
    Then to the culture of the willing glebe. James Thomson, Spring.

    One might wear any passion out of a family by culture, as skilful gardeners blot a colour out of a tulip that hurts its beauty. Tatler, №. 75.

  2. To Cultureverb

    To cultivate; to manure; to till. It is used by Thomson, but without authority.

    Etymology: from the noun.


  1. Culture

    Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior, institutions, and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups. Culture is often originated from or attributed to a specific region or location. Humans acquire culture through the learning processes of enculturation and socialization, which is shown by the diversity of cultures across societies. A cultural norm codifies acceptable conduct in society; it serves as a guideline for behavior, dress, language, and demeanor in a situation, which serves as a template for expectations in a social group. Accepting only a monoculture in a social group can bear risks, just as a single species can wither in the face of environmental change, for lack of functional responses to the change. Thus in military culture, valor is counted a typical behavior for an individual and duty, honor, and loyalty to the social group are counted as virtues or functional responses in the continuum of conflict. In the practice of religion, analogous attributes can be identified in a social group. Cultural change, or repositioning, is the reconstruction of a cultural concept of a society. Cultures are internally affected by both forces encouraging change and forces resisting change. Cultures are externally affected via contact between societies. Organizations like UNESCO attempt to preserve culture and cultural heritage.


  1. culture

    Culture refers to the shared values, norms, behaviors, beliefs, practices, traditions, knowledge, and symbols of a particular group or society. It includes various aspects like language, religion, social habits, food, arts, music, technology, and more. Culture is usually transmitted across generations and is continuously evolving over time. It shapes the collective identity and influences the worldview, perceptions, and interactions of its members.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Culturenoun

    the act or practice of cultivating, or of preparing the earth for seed and raising crops by tillage; as, the culture of the soil

  2. Culturenoun

    the act of, or any labor or means employed for, training, disciplining, or refining the moral and intellectual nature of man; as, the culture of the mind

  3. Culturenoun

    the state of being cultivated; result of cultivation; physical improvement; enlightenment and discipline acquired by mental and moral training; civilization; refinement in manners and taste

  4. Cultureverb

    to cultivate; to educate

  5. Etymology: [F. culture, L. cultura, fr. colere to till, cultivate; of uncertain origin. Cf. Colony.]


  1. Culture

    Culture is a modern concept based on a term first used in classical antiquity by the Roman orator Cicero: "cultura animi". The term "culture" appeared first in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, to connote a process of cultivation or improvement, as in agriculture or horticulture. In the 19th century, the term developed to refer first to the betterment or refinement of the individual, especially through education, and then to the fulfillment of national aspirations or ideals. In the mid-19th century, some scientists used the term "culture" to refer to a universal human capacity. For the German nonpositivist sociologist Georg Simmel, culture referred to "the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external forms which have been objectified in the course of history". In the 20th century, "culture" emerged as a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of human phenomena that cannot be attributed to genetic inheritance. Specifically, the term "culture" in American anthropology had two meanings: ⁕the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively; and ⁕the distinct ways that people living differently classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Culture

    kul′tūr, n. cultivation: the state of being cultivated: refinement the result of cultivation.—v.t. to cultivate: to improve.—adjs. Cul′turable; Cul′tural.—p.adj. Cul′tured, cultivated: well educated: refined.—adj. Cul′tureless. [L. cultūracolĕre.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Culture

    A collective expression for all behavior patterns acquired and socially transmitted through symbols. Culture includes customs, traditions, and language.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. culture

    A feature of the terrain that has been constructed by man. Included are such items as roads, buildings, and canals; boundary lines; and, in a broad sense, all names and legends on a map.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    A degree of mental development that produces tailor-made women, fantastically-sheared poodles and dock tailed horses.

Editors Contribution

  1. culture

    The belief, attitude, behavior, morals, ethics, family values, knowledge, teamwork, unity and love within a community, family, workplace, society, country or globally.

    The culture we are reared with has a joyful effect on us.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 15, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. culture

    Song lyrics by culture -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by culture on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'culture' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1151

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'culture' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3460

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'culture' in Nouns Frequency: #436

How to pronounce culture?

How to say culture in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of culture in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of culture in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of culture in a Sentence

  1. Sarah Robinson:

    We were so sick of circle time,' Itsy Bitsy Spider' and places renaming classes to make it seem cooler. At the end of the day, it's still a class about shapes, and that's not engaging to the parent, we wanted to [ bring in ] theater and pop culture, and get designers involved, led by friends of ours in this design community.

  2. Lili Bernard:

    On the one hand I feel absolutely elated that justice was served. On the other hand I also feel disappointed, because clearly the three-year minimum sentence does not adequately reflect the havoc this man, this rapist, has inflicted on so many women, including Lili Bernard, it does indicate there is now a shift in the legal system that is now going to reflect modern culture, and that now women's voices are being believed and women's lives are being valued.

  3. Leslie Bow:

    They might think that it operates as an homage because it appears to honor Black style. In this case, they graft off of what academics have called the esthétique du cool that attends Black culture, in reality, Blackfishing situates that style as a commodity. It has the effect of reducing a people with a specific history to a series of appropriable traits or objects.

  4. Ken Westin:

    We have a generation now that was born with Internet access, who were using computers before they could walk. Hacking tools and techniques are readily accessible on the Internet and they are becoming increasingly easy to use. When you pair these two elements with the appeal of hacker culture fueled by a bit of teenage rebellion, you have a potentially volatile cocktail.

  5. Esther Solano:

    The rallying cry right now is the economy and that can become an excuse to scrap anything related to matters of inclusion, equality or culture.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for culture

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for culture »


Find a translation for the culture definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"culture." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/culture>.

Discuss these culture definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for culture? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    of surpassing excellence
    A brilliant
    B profound
    C blistering
    D urban

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for culture: