Definition of naturalize in English:


(British naturalise)

Pronunciation /ˈnaCH(ə)rəˌlīz/ /ˈnætʃ(ə)rəˌlaɪz/

See synonyms for naturalize

Translate naturalize into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1often be/become naturalizedAdmit (a foreigner) to the citizenship of a country.

    ‘he was born in a foreign country and had never been naturalized’
    • ‘Locke was not the first naturalized foreigner to serve in the Taiwan military.’
    • ‘The United States defended its right to naturalize foreigners and rejected Britain's claim that it could legitimately practice impressment on the high seas.’
    • ‘He is a naturalised US citizen born in Jordan.’
    • ‘Come Australia Day, the family of five will officially call Australia home when they are naturalised at the citizenship ceremony to be held at the Aquarena.’
    • ‘Each state then set its own standards for naturalizing new citizens, and New York's were lax.’
    • ‘Kozeny was naturalised as an Irish citizen in 1995 under the Rainbow Coalition in return for investment in an Irish software company.’
    • ‘She is the first naturalised American citizen to win the much-coveted National Book Critics Circle Award.’
    • ‘They settled all over Britain, becoming naturalised British citizens of the Roman Empire, erecting a wealth of inscriptions which attest to their assimilation and prosperity.’
    • ‘‘Some foreign spouses who need this kind of financial assistance may not qualify because they have yet to be naturalized as Taiwanese citizens,’ Lin said.’
    • ‘Asians have generally opted to become naturalized citizens rather than permanent resident aliens in the U.S., if they are able to meet the requirements.’
    • ‘The remaining 400,000 have become naturalized Japanese citizens.’
    • ‘I accept that many Filipinos naturalized elsewhere retain their sentimental ties to the mother country and share their income and good fortune with their relatives.’
    • ‘But, as far as NASA is concerned, someone naturalised yesterday is just fine.’
    • ‘Chan told Lee that many Indians and Pakistanis living in Hong Kong were finding it hard to get naturalised.’
    • ‘We were born there but one of the previous generations must have got naturalised.’
    • ‘Why hasn't he taken the plunge and become naturalized and enabled himself to be in a better position to do something about this by voting?’
    • ‘He is a man who was born in Ireland, but who became naturalized as a Thai citizen 27 years ago.’
    • ‘While his family were naturalised, he wasn't living at home, therefore he never got naturalised.’
    • ‘The citizenship clause declares that anyone born or naturalized in the US is a citizen of the United States and of whatever state they reside in.’
    • ‘To state more in detail, Chin Gempin was naturalized as a Japanese subject in 1659 and died in 1671.’
    grant citizenship to, make a citizen, endow with the rights of citizenship, confer citizenship on, give a passport to, enfranchise
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object (of a foreigner) be admitted to the citizenship of a country.
      ‘the opportunity to naturalize as American’
      • ‘Mark had naturalized as a citizen when his mother gained her citizenship.’
      • ‘Politically and legally, this transformation takes place when we become citizens, when we naturalize.’
      • ‘They urged immigrants to learn English and to naturalize.’
      • ‘I'm born in England to a Canadian mother, so I naturalized.’
      • ‘In other words, countries cannot, for example, allow European immigrants to naturalize while barring Haitians.’
      • ‘Many superintendents embraced this idea and proceeded to naturalize.’
      • ‘Slow to naturalize, Italians played a minor role in American politics until after World War II.’
      assimilate, absorb, incorporate, adopt, accept, take in, homogenize
      View synonyms
  • 2Biology
    Establish (a plant or animal) so that it lives wild in a region where it is not indigenous.

    ‘by the 1920s, the species was naturalized in New England’
    • ‘The field and herbarium study permitted us to document aposematism in the native and naturalized vascular flora of the region.’
    • ‘Sigesbeckia orientalis and S. jorullensis are not indigenous to Europe, but both species are naturalized.’
    • ‘Of recently naturalized species, some have rapidly changing ranges and rapidly changing local abundances.’
    • ‘Many other species that began in the region in this category have escaped and become naturalized in wild areas.’
    • ‘Like Europeans, Americans were eager to naturalize familiar species in their new homelands.’
    • ‘To he eligible for listing in the National Register of Big Trees, a species most be recognized as native or naturalized in the continental United States, including Alaska but not Hawaii.’
    • ‘This fern is native to southeastern Asia but is naturalized in parts of the southeastern United States.’
    • ‘Native to the Old World tropics, it is naturalized at scattered locations in the southern United States from California to Virginia.’
    • ‘As a classic book on native and naturalised plants of Britain, Richard Mabey's Flora Britannica is hard to beat.’
    • ‘Mechanical removal of weeds is used whenever possible, and 10 per cent of the campus is now naturalized landscape instead of grass.’
    • ‘They have done a wonderful job in this compilation of 195 species of native and naturalized trees of Pennsylvania.’
    • ‘A mix of both native and naturalized wildflower seeds was planted, and Black-eyed Susans were the predominant species.’
    • ‘A potential insect pest has been identified as a naturalised species of beetle with the help of the Department of Agriculture's website.’
    • ‘The champion bluegum may be the biggest naturalized tree and the biggest hardwood in America, but for many, it's also the biggest weed.’
    • ‘The site then had a good range of flora and fauna having become naturalised, and had not been used for tipping for many years.’
    • ‘This is an account of nineteenth-century efforts to naturalize alien freshwater and anadromous fish in California.’
    • ‘Thanks to drug manufacturer Eugene Schieffelin, who wanted to naturalize all the birds in Shakespeare, we share the continent with 200 million European starlings.’
    1. 2.1(with reference to a cultivated plant) establish or become established in a natural situation.
      with object ‘this species of crocus naturalizes itself very easily’
      • ‘Of all the garden plants that can be naturalized, bulbs create the fewest problems.’
      • ‘All of these bulbs have naturalized; they now spread across the hillside.’
      • ‘This is one of the best bulb plants for naturalizing.’
      • ‘Corydalis is very suitable for naturalizing under trees and shrubs.’
      • ‘When ‘perennializing ‘or naturalizing tulips, plant them about eight inches deep and choose a well-drained spot in the yard.’’
      • ‘It is a very good plant for naturalizing in moist, sheltered, half-shaded locations.’
      • ‘To naturalize bulbs in your lawn, choose bulbs that blossom and fade before grass grows vigorously and requires mowing: crocus, winter aconite, snowdrops, and scilla.’
      • ‘If its soil is well drained, this little plant with its peculiarly shaped tubers will have no trouble naturalizing.’
      • ‘Before naturalizing bulbs, look carefully at the existing plant cover.’
      • ‘This is always good advice for planting bulbs, and is essential for naturalizing or perennializing.’
      • ‘For example, bulbs like crocuses and daffodils, which are good at naturalizing, generally do well planted out after forcing.’
      • ‘Grape hyacinths or Muscari are useful spring-flowering bulbs for containers or for naturalising under shrubs and among other spring bulbs.’
      • ‘Tulips, as a rule, do not naturalize well, and most species are therefore planted annually.’
      • ‘The bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), which is native to moist deciduous woodlands, is perfect for naturalizing.’
      • ‘The bulbs, offered in sizes 6/8 to 8 / 10, are smaller than those of ordinary tulips and are very easy to naturalize.’
      • ‘When the plant is allowed to increase freely, it naturalizes and eventually forms extensive ground cover.’
      • ‘The fact that this little tulip naturalizes so easily is certainly another big advantage.’
      • ‘Muscari planted in a favorable location where no water can settle during the winter can naturalize easily in climatic zones 4-8.’
      • ‘This is the universally known species that naturalizes very easily, especially in moist soil that supplies sufficient nutrients.’
      • ‘The overcut bog adjacent to the farmland has been allowed to naturalise becoming an attraction and haven for wildlife.’
      • ‘Varieties good for naturalizing are available as well, and therefore eliminate the need to dig and replant.’
      establish, introduce, acclimatize, domesticate
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  • 3Alter (an adopted foreign word) so that it conforms more closely to the phonology or orthography of the adopting language.

    ‘the stoccafisso of Liguria was naturalized in Nice as stocoficada’
    • ‘Eravalu Padakosha, a dictionary of loan words that have been naturalised in Kannada, runs to 250 pages and it does not include words of Sanskrit and Prakrit origin.’
    • ‘When he has Virgil say, ‘There's not much time to lose, so make it presto,’ we might think that he is here latching on to what could be a gift to the translator, a word used by Dante which is also naturalised in English.’
    • ‘And, what should it do now that the terminology has been naturalized into the vernacular?’
    • ‘Many sounds that should seem strange to non-English speakers have been adopted and even naturalized in different countries, Spain among them.’
    • ‘More important, though, Japanese mass culture somehow naturalizes gaijin forms without integrating them.’
    • ‘Throughout the 20th century we borrowed words from the United States, and very quickly they became naturalised.’
    • ‘In this meaning it was originally US slang, I believe, taken up and rapidly naturalised in Britain only after World War Two.’
  • 4Regard as or cause to appear natural.

    ‘globalization has been naturalized as the inevitable pathway to economic prosperity and success’
    • ‘Development theories complement official development policies, and also naturalise and legitimise underdevelopment.’
    • ‘These dynamics become naturalised, made invisible by their ubiquity.’
    • ‘Once the life-death cycle became established in the womb of humanity, death became naturalised and perceived as a decent and an acceptable commodity for an increasing range of human problems and human needs.’
    • ‘But I can't say the same about Toscanini, whose lessons have apparently been learned and naturalized only too well and whose style is more easily imitated than the art and timbre of a great voice or soloist.’
    • ‘But ‘family values’, once a matter of stated political doctrine, have now receded from the realm of political contestation to become naturalized.’
    • ‘‘Pornography’ has now become so naturalized that the very category itself may soon be obsolete.’
    • ‘The notion of representative bodies with public responsibility and accountability is deeply entrenched and naturalised in the white community.’
    • ‘The family operates as a cognitive schema, which is mostly doxic, that is, invisible, naturalised and taken for granted.’
    • ‘This print model has become so naturalised that it disappears.’
    • ‘Indeed, this book's special virtue is to historicize and demystify the material conditions of everyday life which industrial culture has tended to naturalize.’
    • ‘The novel shows how a racist representation can become so naturalized through its repetition in such forms as popular music that it engages the participation of even those whom it burlesques.’
    • ‘In this respect, her novel follows Morrison's formula: whiteness is naturalized, and racial alterity is figured as a threat from the border.’
    • ‘Junto can afford to bypass the usual discourses of race, that is, as long as the racial hierarchy remains so naturalized that his power is unquestionable.’
    • ‘As more women display masculine characteristics, this threatens the bipolar construction that has become so naturalized.’
    • ‘The writing spoke of a desire for respectability and recognition: even for social revolution to alter a system which naturalised inequality.’
    • ‘It is a peculiar notion of masculinity that is naturalised and internalised in everyday practices and relationships by both men and women.’
    assimilate, absorb, incorporate, adopt, accept, take in, homogenize
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1Explain (a phenomenon) in a naturalistic way.
      ‘Against any tendency to naturalize evil, Julian sees evil as profoundly unnatural, unkind.’
      • ‘Landscape has relevance here because it naturalises in material form the values of the powerful, marking out moral geographies that exclude and exile feared social groups.’
      • ‘He is successful to the extent that he can define himself as national spokesman in order to naturalize the nation as family metaphor.’
      • ‘The print charts a landscape that naturalizes second-creation stories.’
      • ‘Yet at the same time, Harjo's poems naturalize these spatial worlds, presenting them as if they were our ordinary, everyday environments, as if they were nothing that should surprise us.’
      • ‘But at the same time, they are designed to naturalize death, presenting us with bodies that are slowly and unhorrifically becoming undifferentiated organic matter.’
      • ‘Once the map is naturalised we rarely bother to ask whether what we are looking at is ‘representation’ or ‘the world,’ and cartographers rarely bother to tell us.’
      • ‘Naturalism, in other words, naturalizes ideology.’
      • ‘The role of romance is to assimilate the ‘progress’ of society by naturalizing history via a certain kind of historicism.’
      • ‘English colonizers represented inferior Indians as vanishing from the American landscape while naturalizing themselves as the true ‘Americans.’’
      • ‘All the while, its residual, unofficial curriculum naturalizes a consistent image of the Canadian nation's ‘true’ founders as white British brothers of the officer class.’
      • ‘Psychoanalysis, then, becomes a discourse of exclusion, as it naturalizes the morality or immorality associated with elements of one's psychological make-up.’
      • ‘The above approach naturalizes consumption as an already existing, readily available set of social practices.’
      • ‘This georgic representation of empire, then, simultaneously naturalizes both nation and empire.’


Mid 16th century from French naturaliser, from Old French natural (see natural).