crys·tal·lize | \ ˈkri-stə-ˌlīz \
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, ˌkri-stə-ˈlī- \ adjective
crystallization \ˌkri-stə-li-ˈzā-shən \ noun
crystallizer noun

Synonyms for crystallize


form, jell, shape (up), solidify

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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 problem is crystallized in one model: the RAV4 sport-utility vehicle. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Toyota’s Trump Problem: Its Best-Selling Vehicle in the U.S. Isn’t ‘Made in America’," 30 May 2018 Noctilucent clouds form around the poles in the summer months, when ice crystallizes around shards of disintegrating meteoroids, volcanic dust, and even rocket plumes 50 miles above the surface, according to NASA. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "How to capture the eerie nighttime clouds of climate change," 6 July 2018 The magma under the surface in this area is hotter, more fluid and less crystallized. USA TODAY, "Lava from Kilauea volcano is now hotter, more fluid," 18 June 2018 The details of that day crystallized during testimony Thursday in Palmer Superior Court as the trial of 18-year-old Erick Almandinger — the first teen arrested in Grunwald's killing — continued into its second week. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "The details in the Grunwald killing fell into place one early December day in 2016," 25 May 2018 So the excitement building in anticipation of the California primary among political junkies everywhere is not necessarily shared by the voters eligible to participate, and the outcomes could be mixed and slow to crystallize. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Turnout for an Epochal California Primary Will Probably Be Terrible," 30 May 2018 Yet doubts have crystallized in recent months, after two years of work to prepare Aramco for its debut. Sarah Mcfarlane, WSJ, "Doubts Grow Aramco IPO Will Ever Happen," 5 July 2018 Students also set up stations to make their own rock candy, which would become a sort of graduation present Friday once they were done crystallizing. Sara Cardine,, "Kids slime, splash and cook their way through scientific principles in camp led by LCHS students," 3 July 2018 The Tesla conundrum again crystallizes this conflict. Zachary Karabell, WIRED, "Elon Musk's Ire Reveals a Wall Street-Silicon Valley Divide," 5 May 2018

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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Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for crystallize

The first known use of crystallize was in 1600

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English Language Learners Definition of crystallize

: 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 \
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 \
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 \ 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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to make amends

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