Definition of germinate in English:



[with object]
  • 1(of a seed or spore) begin to grow and put out shoots after a period of dormancy.

    • ‘Breakdown takes place after a period of rest when seeds germinate and seedlings start growing.’
    • ‘Dashed segments of the line indicate where viable seeds do not germinate at low temperatures.’
    • ‘When contaminated seeds are planted, bunt spores germinate in the presence of moisture and infect the wheat seedlings.’
    • ‘Many flower seeds simply will not germinate at high temperatures.’
    • ‘Peppers will not germinate well at room temperature - keep them at a constant 80 degrees for best success.’
    • ‘Fresh seeds of many arctic and alpine plant species germinate readily without any cold stratification treatment.’
    • ‘Infant botulism occurs when ingested spores germinate and colonize the infant's gastrointestinal tract.’
    • ‘The spores germinate in a film of water and penetrate into the plant tissue.’
    • ‘None of the species studied was able to germinate under anoxia.’
    • ‘For example, seeds germinating in soil survive submergence by germinating anaerobically.’
    • ‘Keep your soil moist after planting and the seeds will germinate readily in about a week.’
    • ‘Dormancy is defined as the inability of a viable seed to germinate under conditions otherwise adequate for germination.’
    • ‘They did germinate on synthetic medium, but were inviable when streaked onto solid rich medium.’
    • ‘If snow cover is reliable, sow seeds late and they'll germinate in spring.’
    • ‘The stigma is the part of the orchid on which pollen grains germinate.’
    • ‘Sprinkle with grass seed, which will quickly germinate and cover the gap.’
    • ‘The oats will germinate quickly and protect the young hay seedlings from weed pressure early in the season.’
    • ‘Seeds of all species have an optimal depth at which they germinate best, depending on soil conditions.’
    • ‘Seeds of all four species germinated in all plots at both treatment locations.’
    • ‘As weeds germinate, hand pull, hoe or spray with a weed killer.’
    • ‘Beside surviving dehydration, the dwarf embryos were able to germinate and to develop into normal plants.’
    1. 1.1with object Cause (a seed or spore) to germinate.
      • ‘Mrs Perry said pumpkins did not take much work and her daughter had her own greenhouse and had germinated the seeds herself.’
      • ‘Although windowsills are good places to germinate seeds, they do have some drawbacks.’
      • ‘One of the ideas was to use empty yoghurt pots to germinate seeds.’
      • ‘I recommend you use the same soilless mix used for germinating the seeds.’
      • ‘Following cold stratification, seeds were germinated in the watered plug trays under natural day lengths in the greenhouses of Brown University and NCSU.’
      • ‘After Apollo 14 landed, a Forest Service scientist germinated the seeds at NASA's manned space center at Houston.’
      • ‘An advantage to doing this in the winter is that nature provides enough water to germinate the seeds, whereas it is necessary to sprinkle the areas during other times of the year.’
      • ‘Two series of experiments were conducted to determine if meditation on the water used to germinate seeds could affect their germination rate.’
      • ‘You most often see this where rice is grown as rice needs to be grown on precisely level fields that contain a shallow layer of water to germinate the seed.’
      • ‘Fall rains and winter snows will provide moisture to germinate seeds.’
      • ‘When one plants there must be enough moisture to germinate the seeds so that the crops emerge at the same time.’
      • ‘Sterilized seeds were germinated in the dark at room temperature using two rooting environments.’
      • ‘Seeds were germinated on wet filter paper and grown without the addition of ABA.’
      • ‘Seeds were germinated in the dark on filter papers moistened with deionized water.’
      • ‘Seeds were germinated under sterile conditions on 1% agar in tissue culture tubes in a growth chamber.’
      • ‘Legume pollen is normally difficult to germinate on artificial medium.’
      • ‘Pollen was germinated in vitro in liquid medium for 10 min and harvested by centrifugation.’
      • ‘Sixty healthy rosettes, germinated in a greenhouse in March 1986, were used.’
      • ‘The seeds were stratified and germinated in a greenhouse at Rutgers University.’
      • ‘The collected soil samples were germinated in plastic trays.’
      sprout, put forth shoots, shoot, shoot up, bud, put forth buds, develop buds, form buds
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Come into existence and develop.
      ‘the idea germinated and slowly grew into an obsession’
      • ‘These are tools for helping communities to germinate, develop and extend themselves.’
      • ‘The idea for Gubu Nation - a collection of more than 50 uniquely Irish tales during the country's development - germinated during this time.’
      • ‘Through a combination of her determination and solid common sense, the club was fully operational within a few months of the idea germinating.’
      • ‘He also has two spin-off business ideas germinating.’
      • ‘The film idea germinated when he returned home in 1998.’
      • ‘The idea for this recipe germinated during a trip to the United States where we had various versions of miso-glazed sea bass.’
      • ‘The basic ideas germinate for a long time.’
      • ‘We think that the idea that he was at a disadvantage has germinated very slowly over the years.’
      • ‘All in all, this 14th track on the album also appreciates the democracy that is slowly germinating in the Southern African former British colony.’
      • ‘An important idea is germinating in this passage.’
      • ‘Frequent interruptions, whether by meetings, phone calls or e-mails, keep new ideas from germinating.’
      • ‘When I read the poets of my bioregion I feel their words slide off the printed page, germinate - take root.’
      • ‘The second development, of no less significance, had been germinating since the mid-nineties.’
      • ‘As an expert counsellor you know love has to germinate slowly over a long period.’
      • ‘The idea to become a priest had been germinating for several years.’
      • ‘The idea of writing a book about her experiences germinated however, in the back of her mind.’
      • ‘While we need markets, we also need room for the visionary ideas, accidental discoveries, and embryonic notions that germinate into real breakthroughs, if only they have the space to grow.’
      • ‘The short stories published by authors in various rags are the hidden store of ideas for the larger and more onerous novels that germinate from them, mostly for the lucrative rewards.’
      • ‘But, as Hollywood has often illustrated, the seed of a worthwhile idea does not necessarily germinate into a compelling motion picture.’
      • ‘Schuman's sixth also unfolds in one movement from a germinating idea and one thing seems to lead inexorably to another.’
      develop, take root, grow, spring up, arise, emerge, evolve, mature, expand, enlarge, spread, advance, progress
      View synonyms


Late 16th century from Latin germinat- ‘sprouted forth, budded’, from the verb germinare, from germen, germin- ‘sprout, seed’.