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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 unfertilized
  • If she lays an unfertilized egg it will develop into a male drone.
British Dictionary definitions for unfertilized

unfertilized

/ʌnˈfɜːtɪˌlaɪzd/
adjective
1.
(of an animal, plant, or egg cell) not fertilized an unfertilized ovum

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 unfertilized

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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