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[pol-uh-ney-shuh n]
See more synonyms for pollination on Thesaurus.com
noun Botany.
  1. the transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma.
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Origin of pollination

First recorded in 1870–75; pollinate + -ion
Related formspost·pol·li·na·tion, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for pollination

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Every fruit and nut grower should know the simple theory of pollination.

  • Pollination: the act of carrying pollen from stamens to pistils.

    Agriculture for Beginners

    Charles William Burkett

  • By pollination we mean the transfer of pollen from an anther to the stigma of a flower.

    A Civic Biology

    George William Hunter

  • Pollination is no doubt an important factor in productiveness, size, quality, and form.

    The Apple


  • If style is too short, pollination may fail; also, if too long.

    The Tomato

    Paul Work

Word Origin and History for pollination


1872, from older French pollination, noun of action formed 1812 from pollin-, stem of Latin pollen (see pollen). Replaced in Modern French by pollinisation .

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pollination in Science


  1. The process by which plant pollen is transferred from the male reproductive organs to the female reproductive organs to form seeds. In flowering plants, pollen is transferred from the anther to the stigma, often by the wind or by insects. In cone-bearing plants, male cones release pollen that is usually borne by the wind to the ovules of female cones.
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A Closer Look: When a pollen grain lands on or is carried to the receptive tissue of a pistil known as the stigma, the flower has been pollinated. But this is only the first step in a complicated process that, if successful, leads to fertilization. The pollen grain contains two cells-a generative cell and a tube cell. The generative nucleus divides to form two sperm nuclei. The tube cell grows down into the pistil until it reaches one of the ovules contained in the ovary. The two sperm travel down the tube and enter the ovule. There, one sperm nucleus unites with the egg. The other sperm nucleus combines with the polar nuclei that exist in the ovule, completing the process known as double fertilization. These fertilized nuclei then develop into the endocarp, the tissue that feeds the embryo. The ovule itself develops into a seed that is contained in the flower's ovary (which ripens into a fruit). In gymnosperms, the ovule is exposed (that is, not contained in an ovary), and the pollen produced by the male reproductive structures lands directly on the ovule in the female reproductive structures. Fertilization in conifers can be slow in comparison to flowering plants-the pollen nuclei of pines, for example, take as long as 15 months to reach the ovule after landing on the female cone. And there are variations: In the ginkgo, the ovules fall off the tree and pollination occurs on the ground.
Related formspollinate verb
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

pollination in Culture


The carrying of pollen grains (the male sex cells in plants) to the female sex cells for fertilization. Pollination can occur between plants when pollen is carried by the wind or by insects such as the honeybee (see cross-fertilization), or within the same plant, in which case it is called self-fertilization.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.