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[fur-tl-ahyz] /ˈfɜr tlˌaɪz/

verb (used with object), fertilized, fertilizing.

to make fertile; enrich:
to fertilize farmland.
to make productive.
verb (transitive)
to provide (an animal, plant, or egg cell) with sperm or pollen to bring about fertilization
to supply (soil or water) with mineral and organic nutrients to aid the growth of plants
to make fertile or productive

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


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