naturalize

verb
nat·​u·​ral·​ize | \ ˈna-chə-rə-ˌlīz How to pronounce naturalize (audio) , ˈnach-rə- \
naturalized; naturalizing

Definition of naturalize

transitive verb

1 : to confer the rights of a national on especially : to admit to citizenship
2 : to introduce into common use or into the vernacular
3 : to bring into conformity with nature
4 : to cause (something, such as a plant) to become established as if native

intransitive verb

: to become established as if native

Examples of naturalize in a Sentence

The government refused to naturalize them without documentation. naturalized citizens of the U.S. Several Asian fish have become naturalized in these lakes. Before you naturalize bulbs in your lawn, fertilize well. These daisies naturalize well in the Pacific Northwest.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web In Bowles’s day, snowdrops had been in England long enough for colonies to naturalize in undisturbed sites. Washington Post, "The iconic white snowdrop could be getting a new look (or many), thanks to breeders," 18 Mar. 2021 For me, one of the great wonders of my adopted hometown is that anyone can spontaneously naturalize themselves as a New Yorker—and, most importantly, that the city will generously indulge them. John Wray, Travel + Leisure, "Vienna Is Beloved for Its Museums, Café Culture, and Gorgeous Parks — But It’s Now One of Europe’s Most Exciting Cities for Nightlife," 8 Mar. 2021 Something that is often missed in this debate is that switching to lower case is also a way to naturalize a word. Meghan O'gieblyn, Wired, "Hello, World! It Is ‘I,’ the Internet," 10 Dec. 2020 The organization was gearing up at the beginning of 2020 to launch a program focused on helping eligible immigrants naturalize in time to vote this election. Kate Morrissey, San Diego Union-Tribune, "As election nears, some would-be voters frustrated by citizenship delays," 31 Oct. 2020 The organization was gearing up at the beginning of 2020 to launch a program focused on helping eligible immigrants naturalize in time to vote this election. Kate Morrissey, Los Angeles Times, "As election nears, some would-be voters frustrated by citizenship delays," 31 Oct. 2020 For Asian Americans, participating in the political process often means having to naturalize, register, and finally vote. NBC News, "73% of young Asian American voters support Biden, but aren't so amped about him, poll shows," 25 Sep. 2020 On average, the organization helps fill out more than 400 citizenship applications a year for immigrants who are trying to naturalize. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville ESL programs offer virtual classes, path to citizenship amid COVID-19 pandemic," 12 June 2020 That includes more than 400,000 ethnic Koreans, many of whom came voluntarily or forcibly to Japan during its 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, and about 360,000 Koreans who have been naturalized. Washington Post, "Deputy prime minister calls Japan a nation with single race," 14 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'naturalize.' 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 naturalize

1559, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about naturalize

Time Traveler for naturalize

Time Traveler

The first known use of naturalize was in 1559

See more words from the same year

Statistics for naturalize

Last Updated

28 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Naturalize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/naturalize. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for naturalize

naturalize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of naturalize

: to allow (someone who was born in a different country) to become a new citizen
: to cause (a plant or animal from another place) to begin to grow and live in a new area

naturalize

verb
nat·​u·​ral·​ize | \ ˈna-chə-rə-ˌlīz How to pronounce naturalize (audio) , ˈnach-rə- \
naturalized; naturalizing

Kids Definition of naturalize

1 : to become or allow to become a citizen
2 : to become or cause to become established as if native naturalize a plant

naturalize

transitive verb
nat·​u·​ral·​ize | \ ˈna-chə-rə-ˌlīz How to pronounce naturalize (audio) \
naturalized; naturalizing

Legal Definition of naturalize

: to admit (a person) to citizenship

Other Words from naturalize

naturalization \ ˌna-​chə-​rə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce naturalize (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on naturalize

What made you want to look up naturalize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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