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

Other Words from crystallize

crystallizable \ ˈkri-​stə-​ˌlī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce crystallize (audio) , ˌkri-​stə-​ˈlī-​ \ adjective
crystallization \ ˌkri-​stə-​li-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce crystallize (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 Historian Michael Klarman has noted that Justice Felix Frankfurter speculated the ruling wouldn't have been possible just a decade earlier, before public opinion had begun to crystallize against segregation. Joel Mathis, The Week, 16 Nov. 2021 Still, the whole scene, widely deemed shoddy within the halls of the Pentagon, according to some officials there, seemed to powerfully crystallize the tensions within the U.S. military. Anna Mulrine Grobe, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 July 2021 This is where Thiel’s standard operating procedure and philosophy began to crystallize. Moira Weigel, The New Republic, 20 Dec. 2021 However, some critics have questioned whether such major projects will be ground to a halt by neighborhood opposition as plans start to crystallize around specific areas. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Dec. 2021 The sharp contrast between Newsom and Elder, specifically on managing the virus, allowed the Democratic governor to crystallize the choice for his party's voters. Maeve Reston, CNN, 14 Sep. 2021 Neuroscientist Kristen Lindquist, who leads the University of North Carolina’s Carolina Affective Science Lab, has found that words help crystallize quicksilver emotional experiences into something more recognizable. Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2021 But before any of those stories crystallize, their effects are made visually and sonically apparent in the film. Selome Hailu, Variety, 16 Nov. 2021 Contemplate all that for a few minutes to have your mind crystallize on an intention or purpose. James Langabeer, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021

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

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Crystallize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for crystallize



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 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 crystallize (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 crystallize (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on crystallize

Nglish: Translation of crystallize for Spanish Speakers


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