[ kraws-pol-uh-ney-shuh n, kros- ]
/ ˈkrɔsˌpɒl əˈneɪ ʃən, ˈkrɒs- /


Botany. the transfer of pollen from the flower of one plant to the flower of a plant having a different genetic constitution.Compare self-pollination.
a sharing or interchange of knowledge, ideas, etc., as for mutual enrichment; cross-fertilization.

Nearby words

  1. cross-party,
  2. cross-patch,
  3. cross-ply,
  4. cross-ply tire,
  5. cross-pollinate,
  6. cross-post,
  7. cross-posting,
  8. cross-purpose,
  9. cross-purposes,
  10. cross-question

Origin of cross-pollination

First recorded in 1880–85 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cross-pollination

British Dictionary definitions for cross-pollination



the transfer of pollen from the anthers of one flower to the stigma of another flower by the action of wind, insects, etcCompare self-pollination
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

Word Origin and History for cross-pollination



also cross pollination, 1882, from cross (adj.) + pollination.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for cross-pollination


The transfer of pollen from the male reproductive organ (an anther or a male cone) of one plant to the female reproductive organ (a stigma or a female cone) of another plant. Insects and wind are the main agents of cross-pollination. Most plants reproduce by cross-pollination, which increases the genetic diversity of a population (increases the number of heterozygous individuals). Mechanisms that promote cross-pollination include having male flowers on one plant and female flowers on another, having pollen mature before the stigmas on the same plant are chemically receptive to being pollinated, and having anatomical arrangements (such as stigmas that are taller than anthers) that make self-pollination less likely.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.