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

Other Words from materialize

materializer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for materialize



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 During the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, when the Fed embarked on quantitative easing, inflation failed to materialize because banks opted to hold excess reserves instead of increasing loans that would have boosted the money supply. Nick Sargen, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 But a number of stadium proposals have failed to materialize, and a recent plan to build a permanent home in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium might be scuttled as well. oregonlive, 10 Dec. 2021 A year into the effort, when that willingness failed to materialize, the Citizen Call shut down. New York Times, 22 Oct. 2021 Economists were hoping to see recovery in sectors hardest hit by the pandemic — but those gains failed to materialize, with just 56,000 jobs were added in retail last month, and 74,000 in leisure and hospitality. NBC News, 8 Oct. 2021 Last year, the blue wave of Democratic victories some had predicted in Texas failed to materialize, as Republicans beat challengers in most urban and suburban districts. Los Angeles Times, 3 Oct. 2021 But ByteDance chose to pursue a rival TikTok bid from a group led by Oracle Corp.—a deal that also failed to materialize. Mark Gurman, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2021 But nearly two years after the start of the pandemic, the Civilian Climate Corps has yet to materialize. Matt Simon, Wired, 27 Dec. 2021 Some of these sanctions have already started to materialize. Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, 27 Sep. 2020

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

Learn More About materialize

Time Traveler for materialize

Time Traveler

The first known use of materialize was in 1710

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near materialize



material logic

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for materialize

Last Updated

23 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Materialize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

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

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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