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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

chiefly British English spelling of fertilization. For spelling, see -ize.


n. (context chiefly British English) alternative spelling of '''fertilization'''

  1. n. creation by the physical union of male and female gametes; of sperm and ova in an animal or pollen and ovule in a plant [syn: fertilization, fecundation, impregnation]

  2. making fertile as by applying fertilizer or manure [syn: fertilization, fecundation, dressing]


Fertilisation or fertilization (see spelling differences), also known as generative fertilisation, conception, fecundation, syngamy and impregnation, is the fusion of gametes to initiate the development of a new individual organism. In animals, the process involves the fusion of an ovum with a sperm, which first creates a zygote and then leads to the development of an embryo. Depending on the animal species, the process can occur within the body of the female in internal fertilisation, or outside ( external fertilisation). The cycle of fertilisation and development of new individuals is called sexual reproduction. During double fertilisation in angiosperms the haploid male gamete combines with two haploid polar nuclei to form a triploid primary endosperm nucleus by the process of vegetative fertilisation.

Usage examples of "fertilisation".

Girou de Buzareingues crossed three varieties of gourd, which like the maize has separated sexes, and he asserts that their mutual fertilisation is by so much the less easy as their differences are greater.

Darwin gives a series of the most wonderful and minute contrivances, by which the visits of insects are utilised for the fertilisation of orchids - structures so wonderful that nothing could well be more so, except the attribution of their origin to minute, fortuitous, and indefinite variations.

I have, also, reason to believe that humble-bees are indispensable to the fertilisation of the heartsease (Viola tricolor), for other bees do not visit this flower.

This can be simple - you merely send the mother to bed with a healthy partner - or it can have luxy elaborations, up to and including external fertilisation by AID and reimplantation in the mother.

The circumnutation of the gynostemium of Stylidium, as described by Gad,*** is highly remarkable, and apparently aids in the fertilisation of the flowers.