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 And when the sperm landed back on Earth to be thawed, re-hydrated, and used to fertilize female cells, the study only used one type of female mouse. Theresa Gaffney, STAT, 12 June 2021 Finally, fertilize the area with 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet and water it lightly 3-4 times a day to keep the surface moist, but not puddling. oregonlive, 29 May 2021 And by smearing fresh sediment across flood plains and deltas, avulsions fertilize lands that have nurtured some of the planet's great civilizations. Fred Pearce, Science | AAAS, 13 May 2021 First, fertilize sometime this month with a nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, or NPK, ratio of 3-2-1. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 18 May 2021 Water your petunias consistently and fertilize them regularly throughout the growing season to fuel all that flowering. Sheryl Geerts, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 May 2021 Don't fertilize too often; feeding ivy once a month during the warmer months is usually a good bet. Southern Living, 18 May 2021 The human scents from the hair will scare off chipmunks and other animals, while the nitrogen in the hair will fertilize your plants. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, 18 May 2021 This may include multi-year commitments to water, fertilize, weed and protect them from grazing or fire and monitor whether the venture achieves its goals. Karen D. Holl, The Conversation, 27 Apr. 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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Statistics for fertilize

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fertilize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fertilize. Accessed 25 Jun. 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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