Definition of nursery in English:


Line breaks: nur|sery
Pronunciation: /ˈnəːs(ə)ri

noun (plural nurseries)

  • 1A room in a house for the special use of young children: a toy-strewn nursery [as modifier]: toys and nursery furniture
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    • 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: [as modifier]: nursery education
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    • 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.
  • 1.2An institution or environment in which certain types of people or qualities are fostered or bred: that nursery of traitors
  • 1.3A place or natural habitat which breeds or supports animals: this estuary provides a vast nursery for fish
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    • 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.
  • 1.4 [as modifier] Denoting a race for two-year-old horses: a six-furlong nursery handicap
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    • Champion jockey Kieren Fallon continues his excellent week with yet another winner, just getting up on Happy Crusader to snatch a last-gasp victory in the nursery race.
    • Trained by John Quinn, the gelding broke his maiden tag in good style at Pontefract and followed-up with a fine effort in a hot nursery race at Beverley last time.
    • Middleham trainer Patrick Haslam has the opening nursery race as a target for The Pen to bid for her third success of the campaign.
  • 2A place where young plants and trees are grown for sale or for planting elsewhere: the plants are available from specialist nurseries [with modifier]: tree nursery
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    • 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.


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

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