pol·li·nate | \ˈpä-lə-ˌnāt \
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

The company said that bees pollinate a third of the world’s crops, and bees also help make a third of its flavors like mango and strawberry. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Häagen Dazs gives away free ice cream cones today," 8 May 2018 There are ones that live in the water and look passive, but pull animals toward them to help pollinate them. Angela Chen, The Verge, "The ‘plant messiah’ on what it takes to save the world’s rarest species," 30 Mar. 2018 On top of that, grass started pollinating at the same time. Maureen Langley, Post-Tribune, "Experts: Indiana's allergy season worse than usual this year," 3 July 2018 The tractor-trailers that carry hives across the country to pollinate crops are typically moving about seven million bees at a time. New York Times, "With a Sniff and a Signal, These Dogs Hunt Down Threats to Bees," 3 July 2018 But the price has gone up five-fold, and beekeepers like Miller are getting paid to truck their bees to California to pollinate crops there, mostly almonds. Seth Borenstein, The Seattle Times, "Honeybees finding it harder to eat at America’s bee hot spot," 2 July 2018 Honeybees are a vital, invisible work force in the food industry, pollinating about a third of the nation’s crops, and Ms. Preston leads a team that tracks their well-being. New York Times, "With a Sniff and a Signal, These Dogs Hunt Down Threats to Bees," 3 July 2018 Bees and other insects help pollinate foods like blueberries, chocolate, coffee, melons, peaches, pumpkins, vanilla, and almonds, according to the Pollinator Partnership. Gloria Casas, Elgin Courier-News, "Inaugural monarch festival raises butterfly awareness in Kane County," 23 June 2018 Then sit back and watch butterflies and hummingbirds pollinate up close and personal all summer long. Maureen Gilmer, sacbee, "For gorgeous blooms in the summer heat, you can’t beat lantanas," 22 June 2018

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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Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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The first known use of pollinate was in 1873

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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 \
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.

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a state of commotion or excitement

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