What is the difference in meaning between the following sentences? Do they both read well?

These conversations will nourish your relationship.

These conversations will nurture your relationship.

  • Have you checked the dictionary definitions for nurture and nourish? Nov 25 '21 at 14:06
  • @KillingTime Of course I looked it up in the dictionary, but that didn't help much. I've seen both sentences, and I'm just wondering what's the difference.
    – Elizabeth
    Nov 25 '21 at 14:39
  • 1
    Nurture = take care of and encourage growth (long-term). Nourish = provide food / nutrition (short-term). So you're more likely to refer to growing up in a nurturing environment, but eating a nourishing meal. But the cited example is highly metaphorical whichever term is chosen. Semantically equivalent in context, These conversations will foster / promote / encourage / support / ... your relationship Nov 25 '21 at 15:36
  • The usages both being acceptable, and with both metaphors essentially implying the same thing (a fostering of healthy growth), unless you prefer a leftover connotation (eg caring) from the vehicle, you can opt for the more popular choice. Google ngrams will give you the preferred variant. The winner is ... ... nurture .... Nov 25 '21 at 15:55

"Nourish" is a more matter of fact term, plainly meaning "to provide in sufficient amount what is necessary for survival". "Nurture" implies" a more careful process through which the utmost is made so as ensure not only survival but survival along the lines of the best chances for success.

I'd opt for the first sentence, leaving the second for a special context, of which I am not really aware.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.