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An Eastern Grey Kangaroo nurtures her joey.

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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.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 norture, noriture, from Old French norriture, norreture, from Late Latin nutritura (nourishment), from Latin nutrire (to nourish).



nurture (plural nurtures)

  1. The act of nourishing or nursing; tender care; education; training.
  2. That which nourishes; food; diet.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  3. The environmental influences that contribute to the development of an individual; see also nature.
    • Milton
      A man neither by nature nor by nurture wise.



nurture (third-person singular simple present nurtures, present participle nurturing, simple past and past participle nurtured)

  1. To nourish or nurse.
  2. (figuratively, by extension) To encourage, especially the growth or development of something.
    • 2009, UNESCO, The United Nations World Water Development Report – N° 3 - 2009 – Freshwater and International Law (the Interplay between Universal, Regional and Basin Perspectives), page 10, ISBN 9231041363
      The relationships between universal norms and specific norms nurture the development of international law.


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