Definition of nursery in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈnərs(ə)rē/

noun (plural nurseries)

1A room in a house for the special use of young children.
Example sentences
  • It had a living room, a dining room, a nursery, three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a huge kitchen fitted out like the galley of an old Cunarder.
  • There are two bedrooms on the ground floor and two upstairs but there is also an unusual room which could be changed into a nursery if an extra room was needed.
  • Stained glass panels carrying colourful images of cartoon characters are placed in nurseries and rooms assigned to children.
1.1 (also day nursery) A place where young children are cared for during the working day; a nursery school.
Example sentences
  • As a result of inadequate funding, more than 80 percent of the teachers and attendants in nurseries and kindergartens have received no training for the positions they fill.
  • Changes in higher education are only part of changes throughout an educational system and cannot be seen separately from strategies for nurseries, primary schools or vocational training.
  • There is a range of private and public nurseries, kindergartens, and play schools.
1.2A place where young plants and trees are grown for sale or for planting elsewhere.
Example sentences
  • The nursery has expanded to include a tree nursery where saplings are grown on to maturity for sale.
  • It's resistant to humidity diseases, and is readily available at the specialist fruit tree nurseries.
  • These gardeners may make note of those plants they'd like to add to their personal landscapes and seek them out at nurseries or special plant sales.
1.3A place or natural habitat that breeds or supports animals: this estuary provides a vast nursery for fish
More example sentences
  • In and around the estuaries, freshwater mingled with salt to create habitats supporting mangroves and nurseries for wading birds and fish.
  • A large lagoon, protected from the open sea by the surrounding islands, serves as a natural nursery for the population.
  • These marshes provide nursery habitat for fish and shellfish.
1.4An institution or environment in which certain types of people or qualities are fostered or bred: that nursery of traitors


Late Middle English: from Old French nourice 'nurse' (see nurse1) + -ery.

Words that rhyme with nursery

anniversary, bursary, cursory, mercery

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: nurs·er·y

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.