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


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


cease, end, stop

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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

But his threats to shutdown the border in its entirety never materialized. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Trump threatens to shut down the border for the third time in three months," 29 Dec. 2018 Atop Palomar Mountain — rainfall capital of San Diego County -- the deluge that had been predicted earlier in the week never materialized Thursday. J. Harry Jones,, "All weather is good on Palomar Mountain," 23 Mar. 2018 The job never materialized, but in November, Apollo lent $184 million to Mr. Kushner’s family real estate firm, Kushner Companies. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Jared Kushner Is Deep in It Now," 1 Mar. 2018 That head-coaching job for Lambert never materialized, but White’s former position coach convinced him to return to Wake Forest as a graduate assistant. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Meet new UK assistant Brad White, a former investment banker once destined for Yale," 2 Feb. 2018 The monster waves never materialized, but people who fled endured hours of tense waiting at shelters before they were cleared to return home., "Tsunami Warning Canceled After Alaska Quake," 23 Jan. 2018 That never materialized, as Cannella appeared in just 10 of Auburn's 14 games and caught three passes for 21 yards while being targeted just eight times -- giving him the lowest catch rate (37.5 percent) on the team. Tom Green,, "Grading Auburn's H-backs/tight ends for the 2017 season," 9 Jan. 2018 In a remarkable document that assumes short political memories, longtime ObamaCare cheerleader Mr. Yarmuth acknowledges that the coverage and cost control promised by Affordable Care Act backers never materialized. James Freeman, WSJ, "If You Have to Ask How Much Socialized Medicine Costs...," 9 Jan. 2019 In 2016, Democrats were banking on Latino voters to help sway the presidential election, a surge that never fully materialized. Li Zhou, Vox, "Democratic outreach to Latino voters doesn’t look much better than it did in 2016," 19 Oct. 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.

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First Known Use of materialize

1710, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for materialize

Last Updated

26 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for materialize

The first known use of materialize was in 1710

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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.

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Comments on materialize

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