Definition of culture noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkʌltʃə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkʌltʃər//
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    way of life
  1. 1  [uncountable] the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group European/Islamic/African/American, etc. culture working-class culture
  2. 2  [countable] a country, group, etc. with its own beliefs, etc. The children are taught to respect different cultures. the effect of technology on traditional cultures
  3. art/music/literature
  4. 3  [uncountable] art, music, literature, etc., thought of as a group Venice is a beautiful city full of culture and history. popular culture (= that is enjoyed by a lot of people) the Minister for Culture
  5. beliefs/attitudes
  6. 4  [countable, uncountable] the beliefs and attitudes about something that people in a particular group or organization share The political cultures of the United States and Europe are very different. A culture of failure exists in some schools. company culture We are living in a consumer culture.
  7. growing/breeding
  8. 5[uncountable] (specialist) the growing of plants or breeding of particular animals in order to get a particular substance or crop from them the culture of silkworms (= for silk)
  9. cells/bacteria
  10. 6 [countable] (biology, medical) a group of cells or bacteria, especially one taken from a person or an animal and grown for medical or scientific study, or to produce food; the process of obtaining and growing these cells a culture of cells from the tumour Yogurt is made from active cultures. to do/take a throat culture
  11. Word OriginMiddle English (denoting a cultivated piece of land): the noun from French culture or directly from Latin cultura ‘growing, cultivation’; the verb from obsolete French culturer or medieval Latin culturare, both based on Latin colere ‘tend, cultivate’ . In late Middle English the sense was ‘cultivation of the soil’ and from this (early 16th cent.), arose ‘cultivation (of the mind, faculties, or manners)’; sense (3) dates from the early 19th cent. Wordfindercivil rights, class, conform, convention, culture, custom, elite, equality, outsider, societyExtra examples Children need to learn to understand cultures other than their own. In some cultures children have an important place. Jokes are an important part of our popular oral culture. Newcomers to the company are soon assimilated into the culture. Prisoners are isolated from the wider culture of society at large. She experienced great culture shock when she first came to Europe. She is a woman of wide culture. The Romans gradually assimilated the culture of the people they had conquered. The computer has changed the culture of the design profession. The new director is trying to foster a culture of open communication within the company. The paintings reflect African American culture. The social security system has been accused of producing a culture of dependency. These ideas have always been central to Western culture. a country containing many language and culture groups immigrants who embrace American culture the development of the enterprise culture in Britain the political culture of the US He had never left his village before so, arriving in the capital, Manila, was a big culture shock.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: culture