culture (n.) Look up culture at
mid-15c., "the tilling of land," from Middle French culture and directly from Latin cultura "a cultivating, agriculture," figuratively "care, culture, an honoring," from past participle stem of colere "to tend, guard; to till, cultivate" (see colony). The figurative sense of "cultivation through education" is first attested c. 1500. Meaning "the intellectual side of civilization" is from 1805; that of "collective customs and achievements of a people" is from 1867.
For without culture or holiness, which are always the gift of a very few, a man may renounce wealth or any other external thing, but he cannot renounce hatred, envy, jealousy, revenge. Culture is the sanctity of the intellect. [William Butler Yeats]
Slang culture vulture is from 1947. Culture shock first recorded 1940. Ironic or contemptuous spelling kulchur is attested from 1940 (Pound), and compare kultur.