nat·​u·​ral·​i·​za·​tion ˌna-ch(ə-)rə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce naturalization (audio)
plural naturalizations
: the act or process of naturalizing : the state of being naturalized: such as
: the course of action undertaken to become a citizen of a country other than the country where one was born
I complete the application for naturalization, wondering whether I know enough American history and government, and whether I could be disqualified for not knowing all the unmemorable lines of Francis Scott Key's "Star Spangled Banner."Judy Ray
of a non-native plant or animal : the process of becoming or the state of being established in the wild so that growth and reproduction is possible without human intervention
This phenomenon follows the typical pattern of invading plant and animal species, the gradual process of naturalization by which ecological balance tends to reassert.John Eastman

Examples of naturalization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Former first lady Melania Trump participated in a naturalization ceremony last week. Jacob Rosen, Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 18 Dec. 2023 Former first lady Melania Trump delivered remarks Friday at a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives in Washington. Alexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 15 Dec. 2023 Melania Trump made a rare public appearance on Friday, serving as a special guest at a naturalization ceremony for new American citizens held in the rotunda of the National Archives’ headquarters. Virginia Chamlee, Peoplemag, 15 Dec. 2023 The National Archives is hosting a naturalization ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday in the historic National Archives Rotunda. Brooke Singman, Fox News, 15 Dec. 2023 Special events are held here throughout the year, including a naturalization ceremony at the Landing House on July 4 and holiday programming highlighting the yuletide traditions of the cultures that settled in upstate New York in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wendy O'Dea, Travel + Leisure, 13 Dec. 2023 European bans on pro-Palestinian protests prompt claims of bias Any applicant who fails to submit the declaration should be denied naturalization, the decree reads. Kate Brady, Washington Post, 6 Dec. 2023 Passel said naturalizations probably increased because of restrictions on legal immigrants, as well as the desire of immigrants to vote in presidential elections since 2008. Andrea Castillo, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 Americans do not have the power to lawfully elect a president who is younger than 35 years old, or one who hasn’t lived within the U.S. for the last 14 years, or one who attained their American citizenship through naturalization. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 8 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'naturalization.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1558, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of naturalization was in 1558

Dictionary Entries Near naturalization

Cite this Entry

“Naturalization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: the act or process of naturalizing : the state of being naturalized

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