9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[jur-muh-neyt] /ˈdʒɜr məˌneɪt/
verb (used without object), germinated, germinating.
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), germinated, germinating.
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 forms
[jur-muh-nuh-buh l] /ˈdʒɜr mə nə bəl/ (Show IPA),
germination, noun
germinator, noun
nongerminating, adjective
nongermination, noun
regerminate, verb, regerminated, regerminating.
regermination, noun
ungerminated, adjective
ungerminating, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for germinate
  • Seeds intended for foodstuffs could spill, germinate and grow, allowing their genes to enter the ecosystem unintentionally.
  • The hot pepper seeds in the droppings germinate right there and this is an ideal shady spot for them to grow.
  • Seeds germinate quickly and plants grow with little fuss.
  • Themes are made up on the spot, and ideas that germinate in different sections of the band slowly grow and intertwine.
  • Witch hazel seeds commonly take up to two years to germinate, then even then grow slowly and unpredictably.
  • However, some seeds that didn't germinate will remain viable, and will grow in a year or later when conditions are favorable.
  • Many plants have seeds that require fire to germinate, or need the kind of disturbed habitat fires leave behind in order to grow.
  • Possibly this is because the seeds germinate so quickly.
  • But foresters have learned that forests need fires to clear out the brush and even to get seeds to germinate.
  • She found that seeds handled by birds are twice as likely to germinate as seeds that simply land on the forest floor.
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; originate: the idea germinated with me
Derived Forms
germinable, germinative, adjective
germination, noun
germinator, noun
Word Origin
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
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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
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