fer·​til·​ize | \ ˈfər-tə-ˌlīz How to pronounce fertilize (audio) \
fertilized; fertilizing

Definition of fertilize

transitive verb

: to make fertile: such as
a : to apply a fertilizer to fertilize land
b : to cause the fertilization of

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Other Words from fertilize

fertilizable \ ˈfər-​tə-​ˌlī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce fertilize (audio) \ adjective

Examples of fertilize in a Sentence

A single sperm fertilizes an egg. Bees fertilize plants as they collect nectar from flowers. He fertilizes the lawn every year. The soil is so rich there is no need to fertilize.
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Recent Examples on the Web In San Diego, rosarians fall prune and fertilize their roses on Labor Day weekend to stimulate new growth. San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 July 2021 This is the more risky way to fertilize, as a too concentrated solution may burn the plants. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 3 July 2021 Don’t fertilize lawn grasses during hot and dry periods, as fertilizer is a type of salt that can further dehydrate the plants by absorbing moisture from the root zone. Brittany Trang, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 June 2021 In the summer, you water, fertilize and weed the garden — and start enjoying the harvest. Mike Brown, Forbes, 26 May 2021 In-vitro fertilization is an extended procedure during which doctors retrieve your eggs, fertilize them in the lab, and implant the resulting embryo(s) in your uterus. Taylyn Washington-harmon, Health.com, 18 May 2021 That spawning usually occurs in relatively shallow water near channels or other deeper water, with clusters of fish - males and females - congregating in relatively small areas, where females release eggs and males fertilize them. Shannon Tompkins, Chron, 11 June 2021 Graham’s external-fertilization hypothesis doesn’t fit for these snakes, which fertilize internally and bear live young. Quanta Magazine, 9 June 2021 Container gardens are loving all the rain too, but remember to fertilize regularly. Janet B. Carson, Arkansas Online, 29 May 2021

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

1621, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for fertilize

Time Traveler

The first known use of fertilize was in 1621

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Dictionary Entries Near fertilize

fertilization tube



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Statistics for fertilize

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fertilize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fertilize. Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for fertilize



English Language Learners Definition of fertilize

: to make (an egg) able to grow and develop
: to make (a plant or flower) able to produce seeds
: to make (soil, land, etc.) richer and better able to support plant growth by adding chemicals or a natural substance (such as manure)


fer·​til·​ize | \ ˈfər-tə-ˌlīz How to pronounce fertilize (audio) \
fertilized; fertilizing

Kids Definition of fertilize

: to make fertile or more fertile a fertilized egg Workers fertilized the garden with nutrients.


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