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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Feed: About a month after planting sweet potatoes, fertilize with an organic fertilizer with phosphate and potassium to encourage root development. Christopher Michel, Country Living, 18 July 2022 After the seed comes up, fertilize your entire lawn at 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. oregonlive, 2 Apr. 2022 Ask the Plant Clinic for advice on whether and when to fertilize particular plants. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 31 July 2022 Our choice for the best natural weed killer with fertilizer also supplies 9% nitrogen to help fertilize your lawn. Renee Freemon Mulvihill, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 July 2022 The researchers have also found that the gophers disperse their waste throughout their tunnels, which could help fertilize the soil. New York Times, 11 July 2022 The animals also scatter their poop and urine within the tunnels, which fertilize the growing roots, per National Geographic. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 July 2022 Don’t fertilize an affected plant; that would stimulate new green growth that would be extra vulnerable to scorching. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 10 July 2022 Iowa is the nation’s leading pork producer with 23 million pigs, most kept in large confinement buildings that collect nitrogen-rich manure from the animals and use it to fertilize fields. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 4 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of fertilize

1621, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About fertilize

Time Traveler for fertilize

Time Traveler

The first known use of fertilize was in 1621

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near fertilize

fertilization tube



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for fertilize

Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fertilize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fertilize. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for fertilize


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.


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!