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nur·ture (nûrchər)
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n.
1.
a. The action of raising or caring for offspring: the nurture of an infant.
b. Biology The sum of environmental influences and conditions acting on an organism, especially in contrast to heredity.
c. The fostering or overseeing of the development of something: the nurture of an idea.
2. Something that nourishes; sustenance: "The butterfly poked its tiny proboscis down into her hair, probing for nurture" (Barbara Kingsolver).
tr.v. nur·tured, nur·tur·ing, nur·tures
1.
a. To raise or educate (a child, for example).
b. To encourage or help develop; cultivate: "a small college town that had nurtured his intellectual and creative pursuits" (James S. Hirsch).
2. To provide sustenance for; nourish: the meadow that nurtures the cattle.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin nūtrītūra, act of suckling, from Latin nūtrītus, past participle of nūtrīre, to suckle; see (s)nāu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

nurtur·er n.

Synonyms: nurture, cultivate, foster, nurse
These verbs mean to promote and sustain the growth and development of: nurturing hopes; cultivating tolerance; foster friendly relations; nursed the fledgling business.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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