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 fertilizable (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 the absence of an obvious solution, outside skepticism and criticism remain deeply rooted in soil fertilized by the unconventional and extraordinary methods the Bears have folded into their search. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, "Column: In the Bears’ kicker search, the destination justifies the journey. But with the season approaching, can they find their way?," 21 Aug. 2019 Do not fertilize during drought conditions; fertilization can increase a tree's water requirements. oregonlive.com, "Western Oregon conifers continue to show damage from drought," 20 Aug. 2019 Keep the soil weed-free and slightly moist, but don't fertilize. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Onions," 1 Feb. 2018 Because Yaramati had experienced menopause, a donor's egg was fertilized with Rajarao's sperm before it was implanted in the new mother, doctors told the Hindustan Times. The Washington Post, oregonlive, "Mom is 74 and dad 82, and she just gave birth to twins," 6 Sep. 2019 Wait to fertilize damaged plants when new growth begins and water it in after the application. Betty Cahill, The Denver Post, "How to salvage your garden after a Colorado hail storm rips it apart," 11 June 2019 College officials say the lambs help save money on mowing around the solar panels, fertilize the soil and create a living laboratory where students care for the animals. Keith Bierygolick, Cincinnati.com, "Save the lambs: ‘Most hated man in Yellow Springs’ fights to keep Ohio college from killing animals," 28 Aug. 2019 Plan to fertilize lightly monthly to keep the crop on schedule. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "Let healthy cherry tomato plants continue to produce," 24 Aug. 2019 Without grazers to fertilize the soil, grasses withered; without grasses to soak up water, the soil got wetter. Katie Orlinsky, National Geographic, "Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all.," 16 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for fertilize

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Fertilize.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fertilizes. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for fertilize


How to pronounce fertilize (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on fertilize

Spanish Central: Translation of fertilize

Nglish: Translation of fertilize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fertilize for Arabic Speakers

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