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

Rarely do these things materialize into an actual real-life encounter. The Cut, "The Designer Hooking Up in the Steam Room," 9 July 2018 Fun-to-follow narratives around Fortnite’s competitive scene are also already materializing around Ninja, Myth, and other popular streamers, and the Pro-Am feels like the start of a storied path for the game’s community of up-and-coming pro players. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite’s celebrity tournament felt like a trial run for Epic’s grand e-sports ambitions," 17 June 2018 Things die down, boom, another lawsuit appears, Michael Avenatti materializes simultaneously on every cable news show to taunt Michael Cohen, and the whole bad-news machine lurches back to life. Mark Lisanti, Vanities, "The Trump Family Power Rankings: Rudy Giuliani and the Infinity Stones," 4 May 2018 But trades sometimes materialize in the minutes leading up to the deadline, which will expire at 3 this afternoon. Josh Robbins,, "Magic players trying to focus on tonight’s game, not NBA trade deadline," 8 Feb. 2018 Promises that lower tax bills for businesses would translate into higher wages have yet to materialize. Patricia Cohen,, "Paychecks lag as profits soar, and prices erode wage gains," 14 July 2018 Promises that lower tax bills for businesses would translate into higher wages have yet to materialize. Patricia Cohen, New York Times, "Paychecks Lag as Profits Soar, and Prices Erode Wage Gains," 13 July 2018 Bank executives have warned of potential credit issues in this area for years, but those have yet to materialize. Rachel Louise Ensign, WSJ, "Investors Look to Earnings to Snap Big-Bank Share Slump," 11 July 2018 From July 26-29, more memories are bound to materialize as the Bassmaster Elite Series visits Edgewood’s Flying Point Park in Harford County for the Huk Bassmaster Elite at Upper Chesapeake Bay presented by Mossy Oak. Kyle Mcfadden, The Aegis, "Bassmaster Elite Series fishing tournament all set for new launch site in Flying Point Park," 10 July 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

5 Nov 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).


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!