Definition of crystallize in English:


(also crystallise)


  • 1Form or cause to form crystals.

    [no object] ‘when most liquids freeze they crystallize’
    • ‘This also occurs naturally in the earth; hot gases evaporate and leave behind saturated minerals which then crystallize.’
    • ‘Another type of solid exists, an amorphous solid, that does not crystallize.’
    • ‘It soon became clear that the best mineral from which to measure this ratio was zircon, because zircon excludes almost all initial lead when it crystallises.’
    • ‘The sugar will start to crystallize; don't panic.’
    • ‘If left undisturbed for a long period of time, a glass will very slowly crystallize.’
    • ‘Base oils contain hydrocarbons that tend to crystallize into waxy materials at low temperatures.’
    • ‘As the solution cools, quinine sulfate crystallizes out.’
    • ‘The only thing left in their packs was water, which had long ago started to crystallize and freeze.’
    • ‘At regular intervals they remove samples and measure how many of the C triglycerides in the liquid oil phase crystallise out.’
    • ‘This is important because macromolecules are difficult to crystallize, and usually will form only crystallites whose structures are difficult to analyze.’
    • ‘Many biological molecules can only be crystallised with difficulty, if at all, and even then the conformation may not be representative of the molecule in the living cell.’
    • ‘It has been suggested that upon the rapid freezing, water molecules crystallize on the lipid interface, forming two frozen planes separated by the hydrophobic core of the membrane.’
    • ‘They are heated and cooled relatively rapidly so the materials do not crystallize.’
    • ‘Such solutions are unstable and the addition of a tiny amount of the solute will cause all of the excess solute to crystallize out of solution.’
    • ‘Water removal can damage membranes, increase ionic strength, change pH, crystallize solutes and denature proteins.’
    • ‘The product is sweetened with organic crystallized cane sugar and contains no unnatural stabilizers or preservatives.’
    • ‘Large, good-quality crystals are valued by structural biologists, but some organic molecules are easier to crystallize than others are.’
    • ‘At sufficiently high concentrations, solute molecules or ions may exceed their solubility, and begin to crystallize.’
    • ‘This is why crystallised enzymes often retain their catalytic activities.’
    • ‘The remains of those creatures left minute freckles of organically produced carbon, which crystallized into graphite.’
    form crystals, solidify, harden
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  • 2Coat and impregnate (fruit or petals) with sugar as a means of preserving them.

    ‘a box of crystallized fruits’
    • ‘Since carrying a lemon around is hardly convenient or practical, I was thrilled to discover True Lemon, a packet of flavored crystallized lemon you can stash in your purse or gym bag.’
    • ‘It too was heaped with candied fruits, nuts, crystallized edible flowers, and, in the topmost cup, a preserved orange, then an extravagant treat.’
    • ‘If you're going to crystallise the rose petals for the topping, simply paint each one with egg white and dip in caster sugar, coating well.’
    • ‘Here I added some cooked apple dice along with pomegranate seeds, and some grated fresh ginger root in addition to crystallized ginger.’
    • ‘The flowers may also be crystallized The same applies to cowslip flowers.’
    • ‘The ridiculous thing is, for the next three months they find they have no room in their cupboards due to huge tins of luncheon meat, bags of Brazil nuts and boxes of crystallised fruits that lay untouched.’
    • ‘The sliced lemon added on day 2 also becomes crystallized and very yummy as its own treat.’
    • ‘Fleurs de sucre are crystallized flower petals or berries, beautifully packaged up in tall glass tubes.’
    • ‘They look marvellous against slate-grey winter skies and when the sun shines after a hard frost they glisten like crystallised fruits.’
    • ‘The recipe does not use ground ginger but a bunch of crystallized ginger along with lemon zest, together which I think make really tangy and refreshing scones.’
    • ‘We sampled other dishes as well, but the selection which caught Madame's fancy were the cakes with crystallized fruits and vegetables.’
  • 3Make or become definite and clear.

    ‘vague feelings of unrest crystallized into something more concrete’
    [with object] ‘writing can help to crystallize your thoughts’
    • ‘In this short, delicate song, a universal sense of the brute, soul-destroying sameness of life as it unfolds is crystallized into a simple acoustic melody, encouraging us to hurry up and wait for nothing to change.’
    • ‘The multiplicity of possible perspectives is endless, whilst the definite moment in time remains crystallised.’
    • ‘Britain's division into two power blocks had begun, and eventually crystallized into the kingdoms of England and Scotland.’
    • ‘But all my second thoughts crystallized into an unshakable conviction: I would choose death, because to live and not write what I believed to be true was not to live at all.’
    • ‘The historical judgment crystallized in that well-known line was the fruit of a long and distinguished career, however.’
    • ‘We believe this proposal crystallizes a clear, simple vision.’
    • ‘His ideas never crystallized into a system: he held that political thought had to be as mobile and protean as its object.’
    • ‘A good briefing can save you hours of legwork and days of phone- and email-tag, particularly when you want information that can't be crystallized into a quick, clear question.’
    • ‘Football budgets are never transparent until they are spent, and then suddenly the truth can crystallise in front of supporters.’
    • ‘Temple building in India, by the Mediaeval Age, had gradually crystallized into two main streams - the north Indian or Indo-Aryan, and the Dravidian in south India.’
    • ‘It seemed as though all the tears inside of her had crystallized into something hard, something strong.’
    • ‘This school derives from pre-existing streams of Indian Mahyna thought based on the writings of Asaga and Vasubandhu which crystallized into the Indian Yogcra (also known as the Vijñnavda) school.’
    • ‘His smile crystallized into a frozen grin, the part in his hair fracturing to the very foundations of his Brylcream.’
    • ‘Students reported that the reading materials were interesting, helpful, and specific, and they found that the out-of-class activities allowed them to crystallize the material they had learned.’
    • ‘The following Saturday morning, while she was sitting in front of her computer, a feeling of utter despair suddenly crystallized into a sense of determined resolve.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the anger many individuals live with on a daily basis can become crystallized into their identity.’
    • ‘Her impatience suddenly crystallized into anger.’
    • ‘Our overall purpose has now crystallized into a plan.’
    • ‘Her questioning at times is never crystallized and does not take a definite form.’
    • ‘Luther's protest against indulgences soon crystallized into a systematic rejection of every religious assumption upon which the Catholic Church rested.’
    become clear, become definite, take shape, emerge, form, materialize
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  • 4Finance
    Convert or be converted from a floating charge into a fixed charge.

    ‘no deduction is given for contingent liabilities until they crystallize’
    [with object] ‘the sale may not crystallize the charge’
    • ‘When a floating charge crystallizes, its priority in relation to subsequent dealings depends on the application of the usual principles and it will generally take priority over all charges created after crystallization.’
    • ‘Yes you can, but you must sell the shares to your pension fund, thereby crystallising any gains or losses.’
    • ‘It follows that the charge over the book and other debts was a floating charge until it crystallised on that date.’
    • ‘The reduced capital gains tax rate encouraged many people to trade assets they had been sitting on for many years because of their reluctance to crystallise a tax liability and made for a more efficient allocation of capital overall.’
    • ‘The contingent liability has now crystallised into a €113 million charge in the profit and loss account.’