fertilize

[ fur-tl-ahyz ]
/ ˈfɜr tlˌaɪz /

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

Biology.
  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 fertilize


British Dictionary definitions for fertilize

fertilize

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 fertilize

fertilize

v.

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

Science definitions for fertilize

fertilization

[ fûr′tl-ĭ-zāshən ]

The process by which two gametes (reproductive cells having a single, haploid set of chromosomes) fuse to become a zygote, which develops into a new organism. The resultant zygote is diploid (it has two sets of chromosomes). In cross-fertilization, the two gametes come from two different individual organisms. In self-fertilization, the gametes come from the same individual. Fertilization includes the union of the cytoplasm of the gametes (called plasmogamy) followed by the union of the nuclei of the two gametes (called karyogamy). Among many animals, such as mammals, fertilization occurs inside the body of the female. Among fish, eggs are fertilized in the water. Among plants, fertilization of eggs occurs within the reproductive structures of the parent plant, such as the ovules of gymnosperms and angiosperms. See Note at pollination.
The process of making soil more productive of plant growth, as by the addition of organic material or fertilizer.
Related formsfertilize verb

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