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

These petite potpies are adorable to look at and even better to eat, filled with a sweet and zesty combo of Anjou pears, raspberries, cinnamon and crystallized ginger with a buttery pie crust top. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Little Pear-Raspberry Potpies," 13 Jan. 2010 What can be said, though, is that the 1981 Israeli raid on the Osirak reactor at Tuwaitha crystallized his ambitions. Peter Schwartzstein, Smithsonian, "How Saddam and ISIS Killed Iraqi Science," 30 May 2018 This season has crystallized the experience like never before. Andrew Sharp,, "The Peaks and Valleys of LeBron James in Cleveland," 18 Apr. 2018 That show crystallized conservative fears about America under Obama by depicting small communities of stalwart traditionalists being beset by hordes of outsiders. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 was masterful. But it may have broken the show.," 11 July 2018 Will this crystallized moment be sent down the pipe to long-term memory? Leslie Kendall Dye, Longreads, "City on a Hill," 23 June 2018 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

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

11 Nov 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

Comments on crystallize

What made you want to look up crystallize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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