[ ee-tee-uh-leyt ]
See synonyms for: etiolateetiolatedetiolation on

verb (used with object),e·ti·o·lat·ed, e·ti·o·lat·ing.
  1. to cause (a plant) to whiten or grow pale by excluding light: to etiolate celery.

  2. to cause to become weakened or sickly; drain of color or vigor.

verb (used without object),e·ti·o·lat·ed, e·ti·o·lat·ing.
  1. (of plants) to whiten or grow pale through lack of light.

Origin of etiolate

First recorded in 1785–95; <French étioler “to make pale, etiolate (plants),” probably derivative of a Norman French dialect form of standard French éteule, Old French estoble, estuble stubble; see -ate1

Other words from etiolate

  • e·ti·o·la·tion, noun

Words Nearby etiolate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use etiolate in a sentence

  • I can not believe that, to produce one roseate complexion, she must etiolate a thousand.

    The Book of Khalid | Ameen Rihani

British Dictionary definitions for etiolate


/ (ˈiːtɪəʊˌleɪt) /

  1. botany to whiten (a green plant) through lack of sunlight

  2. to become or cause to become pale and weak, as from malnutrition

Origin of etiolate

C18: from French étioler to make pale, probably from Old French estuble straw, from Latin stipula

Derived forms of etiolate

  • etiolation, 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