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Latin germinatus, past participle of germinare (to sprout).


  • IPA(key): /ˈdʒɜː(ɹ)mɪneɪt/


germinate (third-person singular simple present germinates, present participle germinating, simple past and past participle germinated)

  1. (intransitive, botany, horticulture) Of a seed, to begin to grow, to sprout roots and leaves.
    • 1631, [Francis Bacon], “(please specify |century=I to X)”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. [], 3rd edition, London: [] VVilliam Rawley; [p]rinted by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee [], OCLC 1044372886:
      the Chalcites, which hath a Spirit that will put forth and germinate
    • 2014 April 5, “Quite interesting: A quietly intriguing column from the brains behind QI, the BBC quiz show. This week; QI orchids you not”, in The Daily Telegraph (Weekend), page W22:
      Orchids rely on fungi to reproduce. Their tiny seeds don't have any on-board nutrients (like beans and apples) and will not germinate until they are infected by a symbiotic fungus which supplies them with food. Known as a protocorm, this tiny orchid-fungus ball grows, turns green and eventually starts to photosynthesise.
    • 2014 December 23, Olivia Judson, “The hemiparasite season [print version: Under the hemiparasite, International New York Times, 24–25 December 2014, page 7]”, in The New York Times[1], archived from the original on 23 December 2014:
      [] The flesh [of the mistletoe berry] is sticky, and forms strings and ribbons between my thumb and forefinger. For the mistletoe, this viscous goop – and by the way, viscous comes to English from viscum – is crucial. The stickiness means that, after eating the berries, birds often regurgitate the seeds and then wipe their bills on twigs – leading to the seeds' getting glued to the tree, where they can germinate and begin the cycle anew.
  2. (transitive) To cause to grow; to produce.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 5, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad[2]:
      These were business hours, and a feeling of loneliness crept over him, perhaps germinated by his sight of the illustrated papers, and accentuated by an attempted perusal of them.







  1. second-person plural present of germinare
  2. second-person plural imperative of germinare





  1. vocative masculine singular of germinātus