cross-pol·​li·​nate | \ ˈkrȯs-ˈpä-lə-ˌnāt How to pronounce cross-pollinate (audio) \
cross-pollinated; cross-pollinating; cross-pollinates

Definition of cross-pollinate

transitive verb

: to subject to cross-pollination Researchers …cross-pollinated Sub1 rice with a high-yielding, flavorful variety called Swarna, which is popular in India and Bangladesh.— Tim Folger In renewing their story option for The Phantom of the Opera on September 17, 1941, Universal Pictures intended to cross-pollinate their two most lucrative genres, horror movies and Deanna Durbin musicals.— Scott MacQueen

intransitive verb

: to undergo cross-fertilization … the real reason is that the humidity in the air causes it to cross-pollinate and consequently grow seeds.The New Yorker … a company can determine whether moving its programmers closer to its designers actually improves teamwork, or whether Friday happy hours are a good way to get employees from different departments to cross-pollinate.— Olga Khazan

First Known Use of cross-pollinate

circa 1900, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for cross-pollinate

Time Traveler

The first known use of cross-pollinate was circa 1900

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Cite this Entry

“Cross-pollinate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of cross-pollinate

botany : to move pollen from one flower to another

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