Etymology
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cultivate (v.)

by 1650s, of land, "till, prepare for crops;" by 1690s of crops, "raise or produce by tillage;" from Medieval Latin cultivatus, past participle of cultivare "to cultivate," from Late Latin cultivus "tilled," from Latin cultus "care, labor; cultivation," from past participle of colere "to cultivate, to till; to inhabit; to frequent, practice, respect; tend, guard," from PIE root *kwel- (1) "revolve, move round; sojourn, dwell."

Figurative sense of "improve by labor or study, devote one's attention to" is from 1680s. Meaning "court the acquaintance of (someone)" is by 1707. Related: Cultivated; cultivating.

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Definitions of cultivate

cultivate (v.)
foster the growth of;
cultivate (v.)
prepare for crops;
cultivate the land
Synonyms: crop / work
cultivate (v.)
teach or refine to be discriminative in taste or judgment;
Synonyms: educate / school / train / civilize / civilise
cultivate (v.)
adapt (a wild plant or unclaimed land) to the environment;
Synonyms: domesticate / naturalize / naturalise / tame
From wordnet.princeton.edu