pol·​li·​nate | \ ˈpä-lə-ˌnāt How to pronounce pollinate (audio) \
pollinated; pollinating

Definition of pollinate

transitive verb

1 : to carry out the pollination of
2 : to mark or smudge with pollen

Examples of pollinate in a Sentence

The plants are pollinated by bees.
Recent Examples on the Web Horticulture Manager John Clements was one of several garden employees who stayed overnight Sunday to photograph, measure, study and hand-pollinate the flowers at the base of the spadix. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Nov. 2021 Tomatoes and cucumbers: Let insects pollinate or do it yourself by shaking the plants or transferring pollen with a small brush. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 10 June 2021 The bloom’s putrid scent is designed to attract carrion-consuming rainforest beetles and flesh flies that pollinate the tiny florets at its center to produce seed berries. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Oct. 2021 Farmers have long relied on insects, wind and even human workers to help pollinate their crops. Mike Cherney, WSJ, 7 July 2021 But bees that only pollinate specific plants, like blueberries, are also hard to track because the plants are generally too widespread. New York Times, 16 Oct. 2021 Insects and hummingbirds pollinate the jewelweed blooms. Sheryl Devore, chicagotribune.com, 14 Oct. 2021 Customers cross-pollinate the two, ideal-fit entries in a neighborhood that foodies frequent. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, 5 Sep. 2021 Bees that pollinate the flowers are up early looking for food. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2021

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

1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of pollinate was in 1873

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Last Updated

10 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pollinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pollinate. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for pollinate



English Language Learners Definition of pollinate

: to give (a plant) pollen from another plant of the same kind so that seeds will be produced


pol·​li·​nate | \ ˈpä-lə-ˌnāt How to pronounce pollinate (audio) \
pollinated; pollinating

Kids Definition of pollinate

: to transfer or carry pollen from a stamen to a pistil of a flower or from a male cone to a female cone Bees are pollinating the clover.

More from Merriam-Webster on pollinate

Nglish: Translation of pollinate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pollinate for Arabic Speakers


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