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See more synonyms for materialize on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), ma·te·ri·al·ized, ma·te·ri·al·iz·ing.
  1. to come into perceptible existence; appear; become actual or real; be realized or carried out: Our plans never materialized.
  2. to assume material or bodily form; become corporeal: The ghost materialized before Hamlet.
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verb (used with object), ma·te·ri·al·ized, ma·te·ri·al·iz·ing.
  1. to give material form to; realize: to materialize an ambition.
  2. to invest with material attributes: to materialize abstract ideas with metaphors.
  3. to make physically perceptible; cause (a spirit or the like) to appear in bodily form.
  4. to render materialistic.
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Also especially British, ma·te·ri·al·ise.

Origin of materialize

First recorded in 1700–10; material + -ize
Related formsma·te·ri·al·i·za·tion, nounma·te·ri·al·iz·er, nounre·ma·te·ri·al·i·za·tion, nounre·ma·te·ri·al·ize, verb, re·ma·te·ri·al·ized, re·ma·te·ri·al·iz·ing.un·ma·te·ri·al·ized, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for materialization

Historical Examples

  • Materialization, for example, is unusual; but if it happens it cannot be supernatural.

    The Shadow World

    Hamlin Garland

  • There are thousands of other well-authenticated cases of materialization.

    The Shadow World

    Hamlin Garland

  • I am a clairvoyant and trance-medium, with materialization as a specialty.

  • That was the beginning of what spiritualists call the "science of materialization."

  • The difference between his ideal and his materialization of it, is a source of anguish for him.

    Style in Singing

    W. E. Haslam

British Dictionary definitions for materialization



  1. (intr) to become fact; actually happenour hopes never materialized
  2. to invest or become invested with a physical shape or form
  3. to cause (a spirit, as of a dead person) to appear in material form or (of a spirit) to appear in such form
  4. (intr) to take shape; become tangibleafter hours of discussion, the project finally began to materialize
  5. physics to form (material particles) from energy, as in pair production
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Derived Formsmaterialization or materialisation, nounmaterializer or materialiser, 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

Word Origin and History for materialization


1822, noun of action from materialize.

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1710, "represent as material," from material (adj.) + -ize. Meaning "appear in bodily form" is 1880, in spiritualism. Related: Materialized; materializing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper