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 The staggering extent of the economic pain the United States now faces will be crystallized in two new rounds of unemployment data due to be released today and Friday. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, May 7," 7 May 2020 Something about that phrase crystallizes an aesthetic bubbling up over the past year or so, as a micro-generation of ’90s babies has matured into musical stardom and begun controlling pop music’s emergent trends. Lindsay Zoladz, New York Times, "For Pop Stars in Their 20s, It’s Totally the ’90s All Over Again," 26 Apr. 2020 The footage from the coronavirus impact in Wuhan, China, is what crystallized the situation in Breed’s mind, and drove her to early action. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: April 11-12," 24 Apr. 2020 This year, with a public health crisis crystallizing the inadequacies in U.S. workers’ rights and protections, the gender pay gap is yet another reminder of how women are hit particularly hard by inequality. Whizy Kim,, "Everything You’ve Ever Wondered About Equal Pay Day, Explained," 31 Mar. 2020 This has, in essence, really been Seehorn's year, crystallizing what has drawn Kim to Jimmy, and his mounting fears that his activities were endangering her. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Better Call Saul' plants the seeds for a killer final season," 21 Apr. 2020 In the process of un-becoming Jihyo, the idol is peeling off her custom crystallized Unistella stick-on nails one by one and stacking them like tiny pancakes. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Jihyo of TWICE’s Career Has Been 15 Years in the Making," 14 Apr. 2020 Honorable mentions included striking microscopic images of photonic crystals in insect scales, crystallized amino acids, desert locust wings, and opal embedded in iron sandstone, among others. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Extreme closeup of mouse-brain slice wins top Life Science Microscopy prize," 14 Apr. 2020 But the new contours of the fight between Biden and Sanders crystallized as the former vice president and the three-term Vermont senator spoke to each other from dueling victory speeches delivered from opposite ends of the country Tuesday night. Tim Darnell, ajc, "UPDATE: Mike Bloomberg ends White House bid | Warren reassessing campaign," 5 Mar. 2020

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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crystallize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 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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