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fertilize

[fur-tl-ahyz] /ˈfɜr tlˌaɪz/
verb (used with object), fertilized, fertilizing.
1.
Biology.
  1. to render (the female gamete) capable of development by uniting it with the male gamete.
  2. to fecundate or impregnate (an animal or plant).
2.
to make fertile; enrich:
to fertilize farmland.
3.
to make productive.
Also, especially British, fertilise.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; fertile + -ize
Related forms
fertilizable, adjective
fertilizability, noun
overfertilize, verb (used with object), overfertilized, overfertilizing.
prefertilize, verb (used with object), prefertilized, prefertilizing.
refertilizable, adjective
refertilize, verb (used with object), refertilized, refertilizing.
unfertilizable, adjective
unfertilized, adjective
unfertilizing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for fertilize
  • If the barnacle's goal is to fertilize as many eggs as possible, live in close quarters at areas protected from wave exposure.
  • They can compost an elephant, fertilize an oak forest or light up the oceans in the eerie teal glow of bioluminescence.
  • He'll then watch over her until she spawns to try to ensure no other males fertilize her eggs.
  • It's the only vertebrate known to naturally self-fertilize, for example.
  • Without nitrogen to fertilize crops, the world couldn't feed itself.
  • Instead, he's looking to create and cross-fertilize interesting ventures.
  • fertilize when growing season begins and again in early summer.
  • To keep potted herbs healthy fertilize and water them regularly.
  • fertilize at planting time, then once every two months.
  • Continue to deadhead existing plants, and fertilize one last time early in the month.
British Dictionary definitions for fertilize

fertilize

/ˈfɜːtɪˌlaɪz/
verb (transitive)
1.
to provide (an animal, plant, or egg cell) with sperm or pollen to bring about fertilization
2.
to supply (soil or water) with mineral and organic nutrients to aid the growth of plants
3.
to make fertile or productive
Derived Forms
fertilizable, fertilisable, adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for fertilize
v.

1640s, "make fertile;" see fertile + -ize. Its biological sense of "unite with an egg cell" is first recorded 1859. Related: Fertilized; fertilizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fertilize in Science
fertilization
  (fûr'tl-ĭ-zā'shən)   
  1. The process by which two gametes (reproductive cells having a single, haploid set of chromosomes) fuse to become a zygote, which develops into a new organism. The resultant zygote is diploid (it has two sets of chromosomes). In cross-fertilization, the two gametes come from two different individual organisms. In self-fertilization, the gametes come from the same individual. Fertilization includes the union of the cytoplasm of the gametes (called plasmogamy) followed by the union of the nuclei of the two gametes (called karyogamy). Among many animals, such as mammals, fertilization occurs inside the body of the female. Among fish, eggs are fertilized in the water. Among plants, fertilization of eggs occurs within the reproductive structures of the parent plant, such as the ovules of gymnosperms and angiosperms. See Note at pollination.

  2. The process of making soil more productive of plant growth, as by the addition of organic material or fertilizer.


fertilize verb
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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