[ fur-tl-ahyz ]
/ ˈfɜr tlˌaɪz /

verb (used with object), fer·ti·lized, fer·ti·liz·ing.

  1. to render (the female gamete) capable of development by uniting it with the male gamete.
  2. to fecundate or impregnate (an animal or plant).
to make fertile; enrich: to fertilize farmland.
to make productive.

Nearby words

  1. fertility cult,
  2. fertility drug,
  3. fertility factor,
  4. fertility symbol,
  5. fertilization,
  6. fertilizer,
  7. fertilizin,
  8. ferula,
  9. ferule,
  10. ferulic acid

Also especially British, fer·ti·lise.

Origin of fertilize

First recorded in 1640–50; fertile + -ize

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fertilise

British Dictionary definitions for fertilise



/ (ˈfɜːtɪˌlaɪz) /

verb (tr)

to provide (an animal, plant, or egg cell) with sperm or pollen to bring about fertilization
to supply (soil or water) with mineral and organic nutrients to aid the growth of plants
to make fertile or productive
Derived Formsfertilizable or fertilisable, adjective

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 fertilise



1640s, "make fertile;" see fertile + -ize. Its biological sense of "unite with an egg cell" is first recorded 1859. Related: Fertilized; fertilizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper