nat·​u·​ral·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌna-chə-rə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce naturalization (audio) , ˌnach-rə- \
plural naturalizations

Definition of naturalization

: the act or process of naturalizing : the state of being naturalized: such as
a : 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
b 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

First Known Use of naturalization

1558, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About naturalization

Time Traveler for naturalization

Time Traveler

The first known use of naturalization was in 1558

See more words from the same year

Statistics for naturalization

Cite this Entry

“Naturalization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for naturalization


nat·​u·​ral·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌna-chə-rə-lə-ˈzā-shən, ˌnach-rə- \

Kids Definition of naturalization

: the act or process of making or becoming a citizen

More from Merriam-Webster on naturalization

Nglish: Translation of naturalization for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of naturalization for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!