tr.v. cul·ti·vat·ed, cul·ti·vat·ing, cul·ti·vates
a. To improve and prepare (land), as by plowing or fertilizing, for raising crops; till.
b. To loosen or dig soil around (growing plants).
2. To grow, tend, or raise (plants or certain animals, for example): cultivate wheat; cultivate oysters.
3. To promote the growth of (a biological culture).
4. To encourage or foster: cultivate a respect for the law. See Synonyms at nurture.
5. To acquire, develop, or refine, as by education: cultivating a posh accent.
6. To seek the acquaintance or goodwill of; make friends with: cultivated the club's new members.
[Medieval Latin cultīvāre, cultīvāt-, from cultīvus, tilled, from Latin cultus, past participle of colere, to till; see kwel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.