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 For the most part, though, COVID-19 patients didn’t materialize; many hospitals, having postponed elective procedures and non-urgent visits, sat empty and ended up cancelling their staffing requests. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, "America Is Running Out of Nurses," 15 Dec. 2020 Even if a lot of snow doesn’t materialize west of Washington, low-level cold air may prove difficult to dislodge, creating the possibility of significant sleet or freezing rain. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Major winter storm to slam Mid-Atlantic and Northeast midweek, with D.C. on rain-snow dividing line," 13 Dec. 2020 But that timeline could be jeopardized if additional viable vaccine candidates do not materialize. Justin Sink,, "Trump Vows to Use Defense Production Act If Needed for Vaccines," 8 Dec. 2020 When pressed on whether the Fed would raise rates if other defenses didn’t materialize or were inadequate, Mr. Powell implied the bar was high. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed ‘Bubbles’ Strategy Confronts Concerns About Low Rates," 30 Sep. 2020 Throughout the fire areas, crews were relieved that additional fire-sparking dry lighting strikes expected on Monday did not materialize. Steve Rubenstein,, "Bay Area infernos keep growing, but weather bolsters efforts to beat back flames," 25 Aug. 2020 Lillard pointed out that sometimes what happens in practice does not always materialize in games. oregonlive, "Trail Blazers suffer lopsided preseason loss to Denver Nuggets: Live updates recap," 16 Dec. 2020 By securing the support of the Glencoe Caucus, the candidates are now likely on their way to victory as independent challenges to the slate rarely materialize. Daniel I. Dorfman,, "Local leaders reflect on this year’s challenges at Glencoe Caucus meeting," 15 Dec. 2020 And any decision about whether to break up the company will likely take years to materialize. Rishi Iyengar, CNN, "The antitrust case against Facebook: Here's what you need to know," 11 Dec. 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.

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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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Statistics for materialize

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Materialize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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