ma·te·ri·al·ize | \ mə-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌlīz \
materialized; materializing

Definition of materialize 

transitive verb

1a : to make material : objectify

b : to cause to appear in bodily form materialize the spirits of the dead

2 : to cause to be materialistic

intransitive verb

1 : to assume bodily form

2a : to appear especially suddenly

b : to come into existence

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from materialize

materializer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for materialize


actualize, appear, arise, begin, break, commence, dawn, engender, form, originate, set in, spring, start


cease, end, stop

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of materialize in a Sentence

A waiter suddenly materialized beside our table. Rain clouds materialized on the horizon.

Recent Examples on the Web

But those signatures failed to materialize, significantly weakening their hand., "Paul Ryan, under pressure, promises to hold immigration vote," 13 June 2018 The duel failed to materialize when Simpson missed the event final and Holloway didn't score., "Women take over at Hayward, and Ducks look for a better day; Oregon track & Field rundown," 7 June 2018 If the summit fails to materialize, the U.S. will have few other policies or options available. David C. Kang, Time, "Donald Trump Needs the North Korea Meeting More Than Kim Jong Un Does," 29 May 2018 Such firms may have even more to lose should the Chinese-U.S. trade talks fail to materialize. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Saving ZTE Isn't Just About Chinese Jobs. Americans Firms Also Have a Lot to Lose," 14 May 2018 His supposed improvement as a three-point shooter has also completely failed to materialize: Sixteen different players in this series have hit at least one three-pointer, but DeRozan (0-9 through three games) isn’t one of them. Ben Golliver,, "With the Raptors' Season on the Line, All DeMar DeRozan Could Do Was Sit and Watch," 6 May 2018 Whether Georgia Tech’s ideas will materialize is, of course, unclear. Jeffrey J. Selingo, Washington Post, "The future of college education: Students for life, computer advisers and campuses everywhere," 6 July 2018 Either returning to the Cavs or joining the Sixers, Rockets, or Lakers seem like the most obvious ways forward, but others possibilities would materialize with his interest. Rob Mahoney,, "LeBron James, Free Agency and the Biggest NBA Offseason Questions," 11 June 2018 None of this means bigger problems won’t eventually materialize. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Defaults of Crises Past Haunt China’s Markets," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'materialize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of materialize

1710, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about materialize

Share materialize

Statistics for materialize

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for materialize

The first known use of materialize was in 1710

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for materialize



English Language Learners Definition of materialize

: to become visible : to appear especially in a sudden or magical way

: to begin to happen or exist : to occur or become real


ma·te·ri·al·ize | \ mə-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌlīz \
materialized; materializing

Kids Definition of materialize

1 : to appear suddenly As soon as I arrived, my friends materialized.

2 : to become actual fact Their hopes never materialized.

3 : to cause to take on a physical form She claimed she could materialize the spirits of the dead.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on materialize

What made you want to look up materialize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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