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 That was looking like the path for her youngest son, too, until an alternative materialized. Hannah Leone,, "Englewood is losing 4 high schools, but a new STEM campus is seen as ‘huge opportunity’ for the struggling neighborhood," 2 Sep. 2019 The school has to sell the rights at deep discounts given the risk that returns will never materialize. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Lambda School's For-Profit Plan to Solve Student Debt," 26 Aug. 2019 This week's preview trailer shows off the central piece of that plan: the Nexus, a new, super-sized space station that will materialize in every local system of planets and serve as NMS' interdimensional Tardis. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Sean Murray calls No Man’s Sky Beyond the game’s “2.0” version—we believe it," 9 Aug. 2019 The plan materialized as Markey readied to give his keynote address — a crowd of green-shirted, sign-waving supporters crowded the floor in a visible demonstration of the 73-year-old Malden Democrat’s support within the party’s activist base., "At the convention, activists offered divided views on the prospect of a Kennedy-Markey showdown.," 15 Sep. 2019 No quick resolutions or sunset endings materialize. Zoë Hu, The New Republic, "Crazy Sad Asians," 27 Aug. 2019 The shrug for sure, and also just how Kanye kinda materialized onstage out of nowhere. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Looking Back at the VMAs 10 Years Later: A Billboard Staff Kanye/Taylor Roundtable," 22 Aug. 2019 Writing it down, seeing the creature materialize over tea with my friend, illustrator Willow Heath, gave me peace and freedom. Caroline Wright,, "After I Was Given a Year to Live, I Wrote This Book for My Sons and Fought Brain Cancer with Love," 20 Aug. 2019 One day, a strange, nearly silent young woman a little older than Denver materializes at their door. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Toni Morrison, ‘Beloved’ author and nobel laureate, dies at 88," 6 Aug. 2019

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

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for materialize

The first known use of materialize was in 1710

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More Definitions for materialize


How to pronounce materialize (audio)

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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