etiolate

To etiolate is to make something, especially a plant, become pale and weak. A lack of sunshine in your back yard might etiolate the roses you planted there.

You can use etiolate to describe what your uncle does to his house plants when he keeps his curtains closed for weeks — causing them to grow long, pale stems and tiny leaves from lack of sunlight. It's more common to find etiolate and the noun etiolation in science textbooks or botanists' studies. Etiolate comes from the French word étioler, "to blanch," and experts speculate that it may literally mean "to become like straw," from the French Norman étule, "a straw."

Primary Meanings of etiolate

1.
v
make weak by stunting the growth or development of
2.
adjv
(especially of plants) developed without chlorophyll by being deprived of light
bleach and alter the natural development of (a green plant) by excluding sunlight
Full Definitions of etiolate
1

v make weak by stunting the growth or development of

Type of:
weaken
lessen the strength of

v make pale or sickly

“alcohol etiolates your skin”
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
2

adj (especially of plants) developed without chlorophyll by being deprived of light

Synonyms:
blanched, etiolated
colorless, colourless
weak in color; not colorful

v bleach and alter the natural development of (a green plant) by excluding sunlight

Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

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