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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.


From Middle English, from Old French nouriss-, stem of one of the conjugated forms of norrir, from Latin nutrire(to suckle, feed, foster, nourish, cherish, preserve, support).



nourish (plural nourishes)

  1. (obsolete) A nurse.


nourish (third-person singular simple present nourishes, present participle nourishing, simple past and past participle nourished)

  1. To feed and cause to grow; to supply with matter which increases bulk or supplies waste, and promotes health; to furnish with nutriment.
    • Bible, Is. xliv. 14
      He planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.
  2. To support; to maintain.
    • Shakespeare
      I in Ireland nourish a mighty band.
  3. To supply the means of support and increase to; to encourage; to foster
    to nourish rebellion
    to nourish virtues
  4. To cherish; to comfort.
    • Bible, James v. 5
      Ye have nourished your hearts.
  5. To educate; to instruct; to bring up; to nurture; to promote the growth of in attainments.
    • Bible, 1 Timothy iv. 6
      Nourished up in the words of faith.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)
  6. To promote growth; to furnish nutriment.
  7. (intransitive, obsolete) To gain nourishment.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)

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