r) KEY NOUN:
TRANSITIVE VERB: cul·tured
- The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
- These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty.
- These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture.
- The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.
- Intellectual and artistic activity and the works produced by it.
- Development of the intellect through training or education.
- Enlightenment resulting from such training or education.
- A high degree of taste and refinement formed by aesthetic and intellectual training.
- Special training and development: voice culture for singers and actors.
- The cultivation of soil; tillage.
- The breeding of animals or growing of plants, especially to produce improved stock.
- The growing of microorganisms, tissue cells, or other living matter in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
- Such a growth or colony, as of bacteria.
- To cultivate.
- To grow (microorganisms or other living matter) in a specially prepared nutrient medium.
- To use (a substance) as a medium for culture: culture milk.
Middle English, cultivation
, from Old French, from Latin cultra
, from cultus
, past participle of colere
; see cultivateUsage Note:
The application of the term culture
to the collective attitudes and behavior of corporations arose in business jargon during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Unlike many locutions that emerge in business jargon, it spread to popular use in newspapers and magazines. Few Usage Panelists object to it. Over 80 percent of Panelists accept the sentence The new management style is a reversal of GE's traditional corporate culture, in which virtually everything the company does is measured in some form and filed away somewhere.
· Ever since C.P. Snow wrote of the gap between "the two cultures" (the humanities and science) in the 1950s, the notion that culture
can refer to smaller segments of society has seemed implicit. Its usage in the corporate world may also have been facilitated by increased awareness of the importance of genuine cultural differences in a global economy, as between Americans and the Japanese, that have a broad effect on business practices.