ma·​te·​ri·​al·​ize | \ mə-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌlīz How to pronounce materialize (audio) \
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

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Other Words from materialize

materializer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for materialize



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Examples of materialize in a Sentence

A waiter suddenly materialized beside our table. Rain clouds materialized on the horizon.
Recent Examples on the Web The plants shriveled in the summer heat, and the monsoon rains failed to materialize. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, 12 Sep. 2021 In the coronavirus pandemic that sent millions of employees home to begin new work routines, reports of occupational injuries that were expected failed to materialize. Stephen Singer,, 6 Sep. 2021 Plans are proceeding for a 67-unit affordable apartment development on Milwaukee's near south side after a previous proposal failed to materialize at the site. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 Sep. 2021 When that support failed to materialize, Mendenhall issued the mandate anyway, mere days before school is set to start on Tuesday. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 Aug. 2021 Gradually, this consensus collapsed, as empirical evidence for neural theories of consciousness failed to materialize. John Horgan, Scientific American, 14 Aug. 2021 Dire predictions of an unmitigated social and educational disaster failed to materialize. Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2021 Those predictions failed to materialize after California’s high-income earners paid record taxes on capital gains from stocks and other investments. Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2021 Tambar’s suggestion was broader and riskier than what most grant-giving organizations are willing to consider, and without funding, his potentially monumental research could never materialize. Dallas News, 30 Aug. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of materialize

1710, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for materialize

Time Traveler

The first known use of materialize was in 1710

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Dictionary Entries Near materialize



material logic

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Materialize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce materialize (audio) \
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on materialize

Nglish: Translation of materialize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of materialize for Arabic Speakers


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