[ jur-muh-neyt ]
See synonyms for: germinategerminatinggermination on

verb (used without object),ger·mi·nat·ed, ger·mi·nat·ing.
  1. to begin to grow or develop.

  2. Botany.

    • to develop into a plant or individual, as a seed, spore, or bulb.

    • to put forth shoots; sprout; pullulate.

  1. to come into existence; begin.

verb (used with object),ger·mi·nat·ed, ger·mi·nat·ing.
  1. to cause to develop; produce.

  2. to cause to come into existence; create.

Origin of germinate

1600–10; <Latin germinātus (past participle of germināre to sprout, bud), equivalent to germin- (see germinal) + -ātus-ate1

Other words from germinate

  • ger·mi·na·ble [jur-muh-nuh-buhl], /ˈdʒɜr mə nə bəl/, adjective
  • ger·mi·na·tion, noun
  • ger·mi·na·tor, noun
  • non·ger·mi·nat·ing, adjective
  • non·ger·mi·na·tion, noun
  • re·ger·mi·nate, verb, re·ger·mi·nat·ed, re·ger·mi·nat·ing.
  • re·ger·mi·na·tion, noun
  • un·ger·mi·nat·ed, adjective
  • un·ger·mi·nat·ing, adjective

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

How to use germinate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for germinate


/ (ˈdʒɜːmɪˌneɪt) /

  1. to cause (seeds or spores) to sprout or (of seeds or spores) to sprout or form new tissue following increased metabolism

  2. to grow or cause to grow; develop

  1. to come or bring into existence; originate: the idea germinated with me

Origin of germinate

C17: from Latin germināre to sprout; see germ

Derived forms of germinate

  • germinable or germinative, adjective
  • germination, noun
  • germinator, 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