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[nach-er-uh-lahyz, nach-ruh-] /ˈnætʃ ər əˌlaɪz, ˈnætʃ rə-/
verb (used with object), naturalized, naturalizing.
to confer upon (an alien) the rights and privileges of a citizen.
to introduce (organisms) into a region and cause them to flourish as if native.
to introduce or adopt (foreign practices, words, etc.) into a country or into general use:
to naturalize a French phrase.
to bring into conformity with nature.
to regard or explain as natural rather than supernatural:
to naturalize miracles.
to adapt or accustom to a place or to new surroundings.
verb (used without object), naturalized, naturalizing.
to become naturalized.
to adapt as if native to a new environment, set of circumstances, etc.
to study or carry on research in natural history.
Origin of naturalize
1585-95; natural + -ize
Related forms
naturalization, noun
naturalizer, noun
unnaturalize, verb (used with object), unnaturalized, unnaturalizing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for naturalize
  • If an applicant is qualified to naturalize, help in completing the application will be available.
  • In wet, sunny meadows and open woodlands it will naturalize.
  • Prior to that, it was common for husbands to naturalize, but not their wives.
  • Discusses plans to develop and naturalize its scientific and technological capabilities.
  • Wilderness stock users must carry and use a shovel and rake to naturalize camps and scatter manure.
British Dictionary definitions for naturalize


/ˈnætʃrəˌlaɪz; -tʃərə-/
(transitive) to give citizenship to (a person of foreign birth)
to be or cause to be adopted in another place, as a word, custom, etc
(transitive) to introduce (a plant or animal from another region) and cause it to adapt to local conditions
(intransitive) (of a plant or animal) to adapt successfully to a foreign environment and spread there
(transitive) to explain (something unusual) with reference to nature, excluding the supernatural
(transitive) to make natural or more lifelike
Derived Forms
naturalization, naturalisation, 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
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Word Origin and History for naturalize

"admit (an alien) to rights of a citizen," 1550s (implied in naturalized), from natural (adj.) in its etymological sense of "by birth" + -ize; in some instances from Middle French naturaliser, from natural. Of things, from 1620s; of plants or animals, from 1796. Related: Naturalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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naturalize in Science
To establish a nonnative species in a region where it is able to reproduce successfully and live alongside native species in the wild. Naturalized species may be introduced intentionally or unintentionally. Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia but have become naturalized in many other parts of the world.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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