verb (used with object), fer·ti·lized, fer·ti·liz·ing.
- to render (the female gamete) capable of development by uniting it with the male gamete.
- to fecundate or impregnate (an animal or plant).
- to make fertile; enrich: to fertilize farmland.
- to make productive.
- (of an animal, plant, or egg cell) not fertilizedan unfertilized ovum
- 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
v.1640s, “make fertile;” see fertile + -ize. Its biological sense of “unite with an egg cell” is first recorded 1859. Related: Fertilized; fertilizing.