From Middle English norserye, from Old French norricerie; equivalent to nurse +‎ -ry.



nursery (countable and uncountable, plural nurseries)

  1. 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.
      • 1869 May, Anthony Trollope, “Lady Milborough as Ambassador”, in He Knew He Was Right, volume I, London: Strahan and Company, publishers, [], OCLC 1118026626, page 87:
        As soon as she was alone and the carriage had been driven well away from the door, Mrs. Trevelyan left the drawing-room and went up to the nursery. As she entered she clothed her face with her sweetest smile. "How is his own mother's dearest, dearest, darling duck?" she said, putting out her arms and taking the boy from the nurse.
      • 1907, Robert William Chambers, “His Own People”, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326, page 14:
        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. (horticulture) 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. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i], page 210, column 2:
        [S]ince for the great deſire I had / To ſee faire Padua, nurſerie of Arts, / I am arriu'd for fruitfull Lombardie, / The pleaſant garden of great Italy.
      • 1822 October, Joshua L[acy] Wilson, “Sermon I. Methods of Peace.”, in Original Sermons; by Presbyterian Ministers, in the Mississippi Valley, Cincinnati, Oh.: Published by M‘Millan & Clopper. [], published 1833, OCLC 7636930, page 22:
        [I]n fine, they must consider Christian families as the nurseries of the church on earth, as the church on earth is the nursery of the church in heaven; and thus be brought to bring up youth in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord:" and then we shall have peace; then all will speak the same things, and there will be no divisions among you.
    4. A nursery school.
  2. (billiards) A nursery cannon.
  3. (uncountable, obsolete) The act of nursing.
  4. That which forms and educates.
    Commerce is the nursery of seamen.
    • 2011, Tracey Wickham; ‎Peter Meares, Treading Water, page 7:
      Nudgee College is regarded as the greatest rugby nursery in Queensland, with the boys in the blue-and-white butcher's stripes winning more Greater Public School rugby premierships than any other team.
  5. (rare) That which is nursed.
  6. (Philippines) The first year of preschool.
  7. (sports) A club or team for developing the skills of young players.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit





Borrowed from English nursery.


nursery f (invariable)

  1. nursery (place for the care of children)