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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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.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 norcery, from Old French norture, norreture, from Late Latin nutritia



nursery ‎(plural nurseries)

  1. (obsolete) The act of nursing.
    • 1606, William Shakespeare, King Lear, act 1, scene 1:
      I loved her most, and thought to set my rest / On her kind nursery.
  2. (heading) A place where nursing is carried on.
    1. A room or area in a household set apart for the care of children; specifically in European countries.
      • 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter I”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
        But they had already discovered that he could be bullied, and they had it their own way; and presently Selwyn lay prone upon the nursery floor, impersonating a ladrone while pleasant shivers chased themselves over Drina, whom he was stalking.
    2. A place where young trees, shrubs, vines, etc., are cultivated for transplanting; a plantation of young trees.
    3. The place where anything is fostered and growth promoted.
      • c. 1594, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, act 1, scene 1:
        Fair Padua, nursery of arts.
      • John Mitchell Mason (1770-1829)
        Christian families are the nurseries of the church on earth, as she is the nursery of the church in heaven.
    4. A nursery school.
  3. That which forms and educates.
    Commerce is the nursery of seamen.
  4. (rare) That which is nursed.
  5. (Philippines) The first year of preschool.

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Borrowing from English nursery.


nursery f ‎(invariable)

  1. nursery (place for the care of children)