fer·​til·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌfər-tə-lə-ˈzā-shən \

Definition of fertilization

: an act or process of making fertile: such as
a : the application of fertilizer
b(1) : an act or process of fecundation, insemination, or pollination not used technically
(2) : the process of union of two gametes whereby the somatic chromosome number is restored and the development of a new individual is initiated

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Examples of fertilization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There's tremendous potential for efficiencies in the large-scale application of mechanization, fertilization, and pesticide use. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Urban farms could be incredibly efficient—but aren’t yet," 27 Dec. 2018 Step 4 In a process called insemination, the sperm and eggs are placed together in a petri dish and stored that way to facilitate fertilization. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "Health & Fitness," 1 Oct. 2018 They were used in research for the polio vaccine, cloning and in-vitro fertilization techniques, Smithsonian Magazine reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Henrietta Lacks portrait to be installed at National Portrait Gallery," 12 May 2018 After the transplant, doctors used in-vitro fertilization — with the recipient’s eggs and her husband’s sperm — to start a pregnancy, which was successful. Brian Resnick, Vox, "10 science stories in 2018 that made us go, “Whoa, that’s awesome”," 18 Dec. 2018 To begin with, offspring of HIV-positive male parents are not considered to be at risk of picking up the infection during fertilization. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Reports out of China suggest first human gene-edited babies have been born," 26 Nov. 2018 This typically happens three to five days following egg retrieval and fertilization, via a catheter inserted into the uterus. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "Health & Fitness," 1 Oct. 2018 That copper produces an inflammatory reaction which interferes with sperm movement, egg fertilization, and possibly implantation, thus preventing pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic and ParaGard’s prescribing information. Korin Miller, SELF, "13 Things You Absolutely Should Know Before Getting the Copper IUD," 20 July 2018 Alito himself notes that this would still be preventing pregnancy by its federal regulation standards, but in reality, both methods nearly always work by preventing either ovulation or fertilization — so that the moment of conception never happens. Dawn Huckelbridge, Teen Vogue, "Trump's Supreme Court Nominee Threatens Contraception Access, Too," 17 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fertilization.' 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 fertilization

circa 1787, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

3 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for fertilization

The first known use of fertilization was circa 1787

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More Definitions for fertilization


fer·​til·​iza·​tion | \ ˌfər-tə-lə-ˈzā-shən \

Kids Definition of fertilization

1 : an act or process of making fertile fertilization of a new lawn
2 : the joining of an egg cell and a sperm cell to form the first stage of an embryo


variants: or British fertilisation \ ˌfərt-​ᵊl-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən \

Medical Definition of fertilization

: an act or process of making fertile: as
a : an act or process of fecundation, insemination, or impregnation
b : the process of union of two gametes whereby the somatic chromosome number is restored and the development of a new individual is initiated

Other Words from fertilization

fertilize or British fertilise \ ˈfərt-​ᵊl-​ˌīz \ transitive verb fertilized or British fertilised; fertilizing or British fertilising

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More from Merriam-Webster on fertilization

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fertilization

Spanish Central: Translation of fertilization

Nglish: Translation of fertilization for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fertilization

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