[ vur-nl-ahyz ]
/ ˈvɜr nlˌaɪz /

verb (used with object), ver·nal·ized, ver·nal·iz·ing.

to shorten the growth period of (a plant) by chilling or other special treatment of it, its seeds, or its bulbs.
Also especially British, ver·nal·ise.

Origin of vernalize

First recorded in 1820–30; vernal + -ize

Related forms

ver·nal·i·za·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for vernalization



/ (ˈvɜːnəˌlaɪz) /


to subject ungerminated or germinating seeds to low temperatures, which is essential for many (plants) of temperate environments to ensure germination in some species and flowering in others

Derived Forms

vernalization or vernalisation, 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

Science definitions for vernalization


[ vûr′nə-lĭ-zāshən ]

The subjection of seeds or seedlings to low temperature in order to hasten plant development and flowering. Vernalization is commonly used for crop plants such as winter rye and is possible because the seeds and buds of many plants require cold in order to break dormancy.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.