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

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

The plants are pollinated by bees.
Recent Examples on the Web And losses of species that pollinate plants would threaten up to $577 billion in crops each year. Roni Dengler, Discover Magazine, 31 Dec. 2019 Bees are moved around the country to help pollinate crops, especially California almonds between February and March each year. Medora Lee, USA TODAY, 5 May 2023 This would have global implications, as birds are a critical part of controlling insects, distributing seeds, and pollinating plants. Nell Salzman, Chicago Tribune, 5 May 2023 Overall, butterflies are beneficial, not just for pollinating plants but for feeding other species up the food chain, Watson said. Jennifer Rude Klett, Journal Sentinel, 20 Apr. 2023 That’s because the bees sent to pollinate blooming almond orchards took longer than usual to emerge from their hives due to chilly temperatures, wind and rain. Amy Taxin, Fortune, 10 Apr. 2023 This could enable a swarm of these robots to communicate with each other, Chen said, and could be used to pollinate crops in vertical farms or even in space. Pranshu Verma, Washington Post, 8 Oct. 2022 The honey bees pollinate many of the crops in Washington’s multibillion-dollar agriculture industry. Nicholas K. Geranios, Anchorage Daily News, 25 May 2022 Flowers appear after 40 days, pollinate themselves and form the peanut ovary, known as the peg. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pollinate.' 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

1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pollinate was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near pollinate

Cite this Entry

“Pollinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pollinate. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


pol·​li·​nate ˈpäl-ə-ˌnāt How to pronounce pollinate (audio)
pollinated; pollinating
: to place pollen on the stigma of

More from Merriam-Webster on pollinate

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