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

New techniques and technologies developed to help pollinate the strawberry flowers could be used for other fruits. Mike Cherney, WSJ, "Strawberry Jam: Urban-Farming Startups Tackle a Problem Crop," 16 Aug. 2018 The social side is familiar: Hosts appears on each other’s shows, do events together, and cross-pollinate their audiences. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The rise of YouTube’s reactionary right," 24 Sep. 2018 This is creating a mismatch between when a plant flowers and when insects like bees are around to pollinate them. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Winters are warming faster than summers. These US cities could lose weeks of freezing days by 2050.," 21 Dec. 2018 Here are some inspiring voices from Indian Country with which to pollinate your Twitter and Instagram feeds. Rebecca Nagle, Teen Vogue, "Invisibility is the Modern Form of Racism Against Native Americans," 23 Oct. 2018 And contrary to popular belief, wasps do pollinate plants, just not to the same extent that bees do. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "6 Ways to Keep Wasps Away From You," 26 July 2018 Scientists released unsettling news some years ago about the decline of bees, which pollinate most of the crop species that feed the world. Staff Report, chicagotribune.com, "Shout Out: Lidia Andronic is a Harwood Heights beekeeper looking out for our pollinators," 6 July 2018 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

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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Time Traveler for pollinate

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 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pollinate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pollinate

Spanish Central: Translation of pollinate

Nglish: Translation of pollinate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pollinate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pollinate

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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