English edit

An Eastern Grey Kangaroo nurtures her joey.

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

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

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Noun edit

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.
    • 1596 (date written; published 1633), Edmund Spenser, A Vewe of the Present State of Irelande [], Dublin: [] Societie of Stationers, [], →OCLC; republished as A View of the State of Ireland [] (Ancient Irish Histories), Dublin: [] Society of Stationers, [] Hibernia Press, [] [b]y John Morrison, 1809, →OCLC, 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 a person’s development (as opposed to "nature").

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Verb edit

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 English edit

Noun edit


  1. Alternative form of norture