A woman in a silk factory in Hotan, Xinjiang, China, extracting silk fibres from silkworm cocoons

Possibly borrowed from French sériculture, a modification of French sériciculture (sericulture) (or directly from sériciculture),[1] from Late Latin sēricum (Chinese goods, especially silk) + French culture (crop; culture).[2] Sēricum is derived from Latin sēricus (of or pertaining to the Seres or Chinese; (by extension) made of silk, silken), from Sēres (northern Chinese people), from Ancient Greek Σῆρες (Sêres, the Chinese people; the land of the Chinese, China), plural of Σήρ (Sḗr, (rare, usually in plural) Chinese person; silkworm), possibly from Old Chinese (*[s]ə, silk).



sericulture (usually uncountable, plural sericultures)

  1. (agriculture) The rearing of silkworms for the production of silk. [from early 19th c.]
    Synonym: sericiculture
    • 1828, The Indian Year Book, Bombay: Bennett, Coleman & Company, ISSN 0970-4310, OCLC 925249465, page 762, column 2:
      Numerous experiments have been made with a view to improving sericulture in India.
    • 1870 September 10, John Hall, “Development of the Resources of the Colony”, in New Zealand. Parliamentary Debates. Fifth Session of the Fourth Parliament (House of Representatives), volume 9, Wellington: G. Didsbury, government printer, OCLC 191255532, page 672:
      Very soon after sericulture had, by these means, been established, its profits in one year exceeded the large reward given by the state of California. Looking to the character of the population of this Colony [New Zealand], and the manner in which it would probably be settled, the promotion of sericulture was a most important object, as affording a prospect of useful employment to a large number of persons.
    • 1870 October 28, Thomas Hutton, “Silk”, in Journal of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India, volume II, part II, Calcutta: Printed by T. Black & Co., [], published 1872, OCLC 1057929455, page lxix:
      It appears to me that under existing circumstances there are just two courses open to us, namely, either to enter heart and hand into the task of extending and improving the Silk culture of the country, or to let things go on as they are until, as lately in France, the worms die out altogether and sericulture in India becomes a thing of the past. [...] There are men in the country who are perfectly willing to devote their time and attention to sericulture, provided they can obtain assistance in procuring species and a few judicious hints for their guidance.
    • 1994, Hisao Aruga, “Sericulture Industry and Its Future”, in Principles of Sericulture: Translated from Japanese, Rotterdam: A[ugust] A[imé] Balkema, →ISBN, page 2:
      In 1959, there were more than 670,000 sericulture farms in Japan, which accounted for about 11 per cent of the total agricultural farms. [...] Sericulture is practised all over Japan. However depending on the climactic conditions prevailing in the different regions, the ground conditions and the agricultural management, there are wide regional variations.
    • 2009, Misiko Hane; Louis G. Perez, “The Late Tokugawa Period”, in Modern Japan: A Historical Survey, 4th edition, Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, →ISBN, page 101:
      In the northern and Kanto regions [of Japan], sericulture (silk) became important as a supplementary source of rural income.
    • 2018 January 16, F. Philipp Seib, “Silk Hydrogels for Drug and Cell Delivery”, in Thakur Raghu Raj Singh, Garry Laverty, and Ryan Donnelly, editors, Hydrogels: Design, Synthesis and Application in Drug Delivery and Regenerative Medicine, Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, →ISBN, page 212:
      To date, B. mori silk cocoons are the most commonly used silk source for the development of drug delivery systems because B. mori silk can be readily mass-produced using sericultures [...].

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  1. ^ sericulture, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2013.
  2. ^ sericulture, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further readingEdit