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[muh-teer-ee-uh-lahyz] /məˈtɪər i əˌlaɪz/
verb (used without object), materialized, materializing.
to come into perceptible existence; appear; become actual or real; be realized or carried out:
Our plans never materialized.
to assume material or bodily form; become corporeal:
The ghost materialized before Hamlet.
verb (used with object), materialized, materializing.
to give material form to; realize:
to materialize an ambition.
to invest with material attributes:
to materialize abstract ideas with metaphors.
to make physically perceptible; cause (a spirit or the like) to appear in bodily form.
to render materialistic.
Also, especially British, materialise.
Origin of materialize
First recorded in 1700-10; material + -ize
Related forms
materialization, noun
materializer, noun
rematerialization, noun
rematerialize, verb, rematerialized, rematerializing.
unmaterialized, adjective
1. emerge, show, rise, issue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for materialise
Historical Examples
  • We naturally tend to materialise when we build up our several pictures; but we sin here, if at all, in the best of company.

    'Murphy' Major Gambier-Parry
  • Here is a chance which, with a little hustling on your part, will materialise.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • They hated, beyond most good women, anything that seemed to materialise or lower the ideal.

    Great Possessions Mrs. Wilfrid Ward
  • But they did not materialise; the rule of Martial Law—bad to beat—remained unbeatable.

  • Who so fit to materialise reforms as the man who had conceived them?

    Sir John French Cecil Chisholm
  • But Kennedy was importunate and at last she consented to see if "John" would do some rapping, even if he could not materialise.

    The Silent Bullet Arthur B. Reeve
  • The consequence had been that that night had been one of nervous expectation of an attack which did not materialise.

  • I believe that fear—remorse—regret—may materialise into a very ghost at your elbow.

    Regiment of Women Clemence Dane
  • The strike of wives, as proposed by a weekly paper, did not materialise.

  • She waited an instant for these tints to materialise, but Miss Howe's smile slid discreetly into her wine-glass instead.

    Hilda Sarah Jeanette Duncan
British Dictionary definitions for materialise


(intransitive) to become fact; actually happen: our hopes never materialized
to invest or become invested with a physical shape or form
to cause (a spirit, as of a dead person) to appear in material form or (of a spirit) to appear in such form
(intransitive) to take shape; become tangible: after hours of discussion, the project finally began to materialize
(physics) to form (material particles) from energy, as in pair production
Derived Forms
materialization, materialisation, noun
materializer, materialiser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for materialise



1710, "represent as material," from material (adj.) + -ize. Meaning "appear in bodily form" is 1880, in spiritualism. Related: Materialized; materializing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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