verb (used without object), ger·mi·nat·ed, ger·mi·nat·ing.

to begin to grow or develop.
  1. to develop into a plant or individual, as a seed, spore, or bulb.
  2. to put forth shoots; sprout; pullulate.
to come into existence; begin.

verb (used with object), ger·mi·nat·ed, ger·mi·nat·ing.

to cause to develop; produce.
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
Related formsger·mi·na·ble [jur-muh-nuh-buh l] /ˈdʒɜr mə nə bəl/, adjectiveger·mi·na·tion, nounger·mi·na·tor, nounnon·ger·mi·nat·ing, adjectivenon·ger·mi·na·tion, nounre·ger·mi·nate, verb, re·ger·mi·nat·ed, re·ger·mi·nat··ger·mi·na·tion, nounun·ger·mi·nat·ed, adjectiveun·ger·mi·nat·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for germinate

sprout, shoot, develop, swell, originate, pullulate, live, generate, bud, vegetate

Examples from the Web for germinate

Contemporary Examples of germinate

  • But without a reasonable expectation that security will materialize, better governance will not germinate.

    The Daily Beast logo
    It's All or Nothing in Afghanistan

    Vanda Felbab-Brown

    October 11, 2009

Historical Examples of germinate

British Dictionary definitions for germinate



to cause (seeds or spores) to sprout or (of seeds or spores) to sprout or form new tissue following increased metabolism
to grow or cause to grow; develop
to come or bring into existence; originatethe idea germinated with me
Derived Formsgerminable or germinative, adjectivegermination, noungerminator, noun

Word Origin for germinate

C17: from Latin germināre to sprout; see germ
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 germinate

c.1600, probably a back-formation from germination. Earlier germynen (mid-15c.) was from Latin germinare. Figurative use from 1640s. Related: Germinated; germinating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper