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[nach-er-uh-lahyz, nach-ruh-] /ˈnætʃ ər əˌlaɪz, ˈnætʃ rə-/
verb (used with object), naturalized, naturalizing.
to confer upon (an alien) the rights and privileges of a citizen.
to introduce (organisms) into a region and cause them to flourish as if native.
to introduce or adopt (foreign practices, words, etc.) into a country or into general use:
to naturalize a French phrase.
to bring into conformity with nature.
to regard or explain as natural rather than supernatural:
to naturalize miracles.
to adapt or accustom to a place or to new surroundings.
verb (used without object), naturalized, naturalizing.
to become naturalized.
to adapt as if native to a new environment, set of circumstances, etc.
to study or carry on research in natural history.
Also, especially British, naturalise.
Origin of naturalize
First recorded in 1585-95; natural + -ize
Related forms
naturalization, noun
naturalizer, noun
unnaturalize, verb (used with object), unnaturalized, unnaturalizing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for naturalize
Historical Examples
  • Seemingly there was an attempt to naturalize "all Greece and Rome."

  • A bill to naturalize the Prince was, of course, indispensable.

  • In like manner the attempt to naturalize avant-courier in the shape of vancurrier has failed.

    English Past and Present Richard Chevenix Trench
  • The attempt to naturalize them in France, or any Continental nation, he regards as mischievous quackery.

    August Comte and Positivism John-Stuart Mill
  • There are certain grasses that will naturalize themselves there—for instance, clover, blue-joint, and timothy.

    Through Glacier Park Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Pasdeloup has splendidly welcomed the illustrious guest that he endeavours to introduce and to naturalize in France.

    Wagner at Home Judith Gautier
  • In 1849 a bill was passed to naturalize women who married native-born or naturalized subjects.

  • Michigan was in all probability the first American institution to naturalize these products of Continental universities.

  • He purchased a considerable estate, and made experiments on those kinds of tillage that he hoped to naturalize in that climate.

    The Ruins C. F. [Constantin Francois de] Volney
  • A few words on the latest attempt which has been made to naturalize an exotic bird in England will not seem out of place here.

British Dictionary definitions for naturalize


/ˈnætʃrəˌlaɪz; -tʃərə-/
(transitive) to give citizenship to (a person of foreign birth)
to be or cause to be adopted in another place, as a word, custom, etc
(transitive) to introduce (a plant or animal from another region) and cause it to adapt to local conditions
(intransitive) (of a plant or animal) to adapt successfully to a foreign environment and spread there
(transitive) to explain (something unusual) with reference to nature, excluding the supernatural
(transitive) to make natural or more lifelike
Derived Forms
naturalization, naturalisation, 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 naturalize

"admit (an alien) to rights of a citizen," 1550s (implied in naturalized), from natural (adj.) in its etymological sense of "by birth" + -ize; in some instances from Middle French naturaliser, from natural. Of things, from 1620s; of plants or animals, from 1796. Related: Naturalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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naturalize in Science
To establish a nonnative species in a region where it is able to reproduce successfully and live alongside native species in the wild. Naturalized species may be introduced intentionally or unintentionally. Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia but have become naturalized in many other parts of the world.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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