1813, "of or pertaining to the raising of plants or animals," from Latin cultura "tillage, a cultivating, agriculture," figuratively "care, culture, an honoring," from past participle stem of colere "to tend, guard; to till, cultivate" (see colony). With -al (1). Figurative senses of "relating to civilizations," also "the cultivation of the mind," are attested by 1875; hence, "relating to the culture of a particular place at a particular time" (by 1909).
Cultural anthropology is attested by 1910, and cultural has been a fertile starter-word among anthropologists and sociologists, for example cultural diffusion, in use by 1912; cultural diversity, by 1935; cultural imperialism, by 1937; cultural pluralism, by 1932; cultural relativism, by 1948. China's Cultural Revolution (1966) began in 1965; the name is a shortened translation of Chinese Wuchan Jieji Wenhua Da Geming "Proletarian Cultural Great Revolution."
1818, as a term in church administration, "the holding by one person of two or more offices at the same time," from plural + -ism. Attested from 1882 as a term in philosophy for a theory which recognizes more than one ultimate principle. In political science, attested from 1919 (in Harold J. Laski) in the sense of "theory which opposes monolithic state power." General sense of "toleration of diversity within a society or state" is from 1933. Related: Pluralist (1620s, in the church sense); pluralistic.
"of or pertaining to analysis of cultural phenomena from the inside," 1954, from phonemic.
acronym from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which was created in 1945.
1976, translating Chinese sirenbang, the nickname given to the four leaders of the Cultural Revolution who took the fall in Communist China after the death of Mao.
in La Raza, literally "the race," 1964, from American Spanish (see race (n.2)), "designating the strong sense of racial and cultural identity held by Mexican-Americans" [OED].