crys·​tal·​lize | \ ˈkri-stə-ˌlīz How to pronounce crystallize (audio) \
variants: or less commonly crystalize
crystallized; crystallizing

Definition of crystallize

transitive verb

1 : to cause to form crystals or assume crystalline form
2 : to cause to take a definite form tried to crystallize his thoughts
3 : to coat with crystals especially of sugar crystallize grapes

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Other Words from crystallize

crystallizable \ ˈkri-​stə-​ˌlī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce crystallizable (audio) , ˌkri-​stə-​ˈlī-​ \ adjective
crystallization \ ˌkri-​stə-​li-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce crystallization (audio) \ noun
crystallizer noun

Synonyms for crystallize


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Examples of crystallize in a Sentence

Eventually the paint will start to crystallize. Certain conditions can cause carbon to crystallize into diamonds. Certain conditions can crystallize carbon into diamonds. The final paragraph of the essay crystallizes her theory. He tried to crystallize his thoughts. Her theory crystallizes in the final paragraph of the essay.
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Recent Examples on the Web At a moment when his mother’s memory of her own husband had faded or, by some metrics, evaporated, here was crystallized proof of their life together. Julia Rothchild, The New Yorker, "“The Last Conversation” and the Difficult Questions of Dementia," 6 Feb. 2020 The duality of their season was crystallized in the entirety of the 60 minutes at Assembly Hall. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "As Cassius Winston rides emotional roller coaster, so does Michigan State basketball," 24 Jan. 2020 In one helmet-flipping, lip-reading tableau, Brady’s frustrations and the offense’s limitations were crystallized for the entire country., "Patriots receivers catch more heat than passes from Tom Brady - The Boston Globe," 3 Dec. 2019 Indeed, poke around Disney Plus long enough and a great irony crystallizes: Innovation is the quiet subject of many of the new shows on Disney Plus, a streaming service going out of its way to avoid doing anything new. Christopher Borrelli,, "Four reasons Disney Plus is the future by embracing its past," 12 Nov. 2019 The incident crystallized how people no longer act as just voters or constituents, but as devotees who track politicians with eagle-eyed scrutiny and Twitter-ready fingers. Sara Li, Teen Vogue, "Don't Stan Presidential Candidates the Way You Stan BTS," 15 Jan. 2020 The bleak odds facing Castro were crystallized in mid-October. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Texan Julián Castro withdraws from Democratic presidential race," 2 Jan. 2020 The Beijing Olympics in 2008 seemed to crystallize China’s ascendancy. James T. Areddy, WSJ, "American Entrepreneurs Who Flocked to China Are Heading Home, Disillusioned," 7 Dec. 2018 In New York, the inequities of the system were crystallized when a Bronx teenager named Kalief Browder spent three years on Rikers Island because his family could not raise $3,000, only to have charges dropped in 2013 for lack of evidence. New York Times, "Why Abolishing Bail for Some Crimes Has Law Enforcement on Edge," 31 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crystallize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crystallize

1600, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for crystallize

crystal entry 1 + -ize

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Time Traveler for crystallize

Time Traveler

The first known use of crystallize was in 1600

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Statistics for crystallize

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crystallize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for crystallize


How to pronounce crystallize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of crystallize

technical : to change into a solid form that is made up of crystals
: to cause (something, such as an idea, belief, etc.) to become clear and fully formed


crys·​tal·​lize | \ ˈkri-stə-ˌlīz How to pronounce crystallize (audio) \
crystallized; crystallizing

Kids Definition of crystallize

1 : to form or cause to form crystals or grains
2 : to take or cause to take definite form The plan crystallized slowly.


variants: also crystalize also British crystallise or crystalise \ ˈkris-​tə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce crystalise (audio) \
crystallized also crystallized also British crystallised or crystallised; crystallizing also crystallizing also British crystallising or crystallising

Medical Definition of crystallize

transitive verb

: to cause to form crystals or assume crystalline form especially : to cause to form perfect or large crystals

intransitive verb

: to become crystallized often used with out the solid crystallized out

Other Words from crystallize

crystallizable \ -​ˌlī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce crystallizable (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on crystallize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crystallize

Spanish Central: Translation of crystallize

Nglish: Translation of crystallize for Spanish Speakers

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