An Eastern Grey Kangaroo nurtures her joey.

Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English norture, noriture, from Old French norriture, norreture, from Late Latin nutritura (nourishment), from Latin nutrire (to nourish).



nurture (countable and uncountable, plural nurtures)

  1. The act of nourishing or nursing; tender care
    Synonyms: upbringing, raising, education, training
  2. That which nourishes; food; diet.
    • 1633, Edmund Spenser, A Vewe of the Present State of Irelande  [], Dublin: [] Sir James Ware; reprinted as A View of the State of Ireland [], Dublin: [] the Society of Stationers, [] Hibernia Press, [] By John Morrison, 1809, page 110:
      Other great houses there bee of the English in Ireland, which thorough licentious conversing with the Irish, or marrying, or fostering with them, or lacke of meete nurture, or other such unhappy occasions, have degendred from their auncient dignities, and are now growne as Irish, as O-hanlans breech, as the proverbe there is.
  3. The environmental influences that contribute to the development of an individual (as opposed to "nature").



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
      The relationships between universal norms and specific norms nurture the development of international law.


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Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of norture