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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for materialization
Historical Examples
  • materialization, for example, is unusual; but if it happens it cannot be supernatural.

    The Shadow World

    Hamlin Garland
  • There are thousands of other well-authenticated cases of materialization.

    The Shadow World

    Hamlin Garland
  • I am a clairvoyant and trance-medium, with materialization as a specialty.

  • That was the beginning of what spiritualists call the "science of materialization."

  • The difference between his ideal and his materialization of it, is a source of anguish for him.

    Style in Singing W. E. Haslam
  • You have heard of materializationmaterialization of departed spirits?

    The American Claimant Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • If I ever had any doubts about materialization, they're gone, now, and gone for good.

    The American Claimant Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • The carrying on of the materialization—the bringing it down to date.

    The American Claimant Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • He told me then of Babaji's materialization before the group in Moradabad.

    Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda
  • His powers were more confined to materialization than Eglinton's, but in that he excelled.

    There is no Death Florence Marryatt
British Dictionary definitions for materialization


(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 materialization

1822, noun of action from materialize.



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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