Dictionary

inoculate

verb in·oc·u·late \i-ˈnä-kyə-ˌlāt\

medical : to give (a person or animal) a weakened form of a disease in order to prevent infection by the disease

in·oc·u·lat·edin·oc·u·lat·ing

Full Definition of INOCULATE

transitive verb
1
a :  to introduce a microorganism into <inoculate mice with anthrax> <beans inoculated with nitrogen-fixing bacteria>
b :  to introduce (as a microorganism) into a suitable situation for growth
c :  to introduce immunologically active material (as an antibody or antigen) into especially in order to treat or prevent a disease <inoculate children against diphtheria>
2
:  to introduce something into the mind of
3
:  to protect as if by inoculation
in·oc·u·la·tive \-ˌlā-tiv\ adjective
in·oc·u·la·tor \-ˌlā-tər\ noun

Examples of INOCULATE

  1. <inoculated them with the idea that the individual can always make a difference in this world>

Origin of INOCULATE

Middle English, to insert a bud in a plant, from Latin inoculatus, past participle of inoculare, from in- + oculus eye, bud — more at eye
First Known Use: 1721

Synonym Discussion of INOCULATE

infuse, suffuse, imbue, ingrain, inoculate, leaven mean to introduce one thing into another so as to affect it throughout. infuse implies a pouring in of something that gives new life or significance <new members infused enthusiasm into the club>. suffuse implies a spreading through of something that gives an unusual color or quality <a room suffused with light>. imbue implies the introduction of a quality that fills and permeates the whole being <imbue students with intellectual curiosity>. ingrain , used only in the passive or past participle, suggests the deep implanting of a quality or trait <clung to ingrained habits>. inoculate implies an imbuing or implanting with a germinal idea and often suggests stealth or subtlety <an electorate inoculated with dangerous ideas>. leaven implies introducing something that enlivens, tempers, or markedly alters the total quality <a serious play leavened with comic moments>.

Other Microbiology Terms

pathogen, salmonella, tetanus

Rhymes with INOCULATE

abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, adulterate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, ameliorate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, appropriate, approximate, arpeggiate, articulate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, delineate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, investigate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, legitimate, luxuriate, mandarinate, manipulate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, negotiate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, reciprocate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate
INOCULATIVE Defined for Kids

inoculate

verb in·oc·u·late \i-ˈnä-kyə-ˌlāt\
in·oc·u·lat·edin·oc·u·lat·ing

Definition of INOCULATE for Kids

:  to inject a material (as a vaccine) into to protect against or treat a disease

Word History of INOCULATE

Similar to the way that we use eye for the undeveloped bud on a potato, the Romans used the Latin word oculus, eye, to mean bud of a plant. Having learned that the oculus or bud from one plant can be grafted onto another, the Romans derived the verb inoculare from oculus to refer to the process of grafting. English borrowed this verb as inoculate with the same meaning. Introducing a small amount of material to make a person immune to a disease is like implanting a bud, so the verb inoculate was also used for this procedure.
Medical Dictionary

inoculate

verb in·oc·u·late \in-ˈäk-yə-ˌlāt\
in·oc·u·lat·edin·oc·u·lat·ing

Medical Definition of INOCULATE

transitive verb
1
:  to communicate a disease to (an organism) by inserting its causative agent into the body <12 mice inoculated with anthrax>
2
a :  to introduce microorganisms or viruses onto or into (an organism, substrate, or culture medium) <inoculated a rat with bacteria> b :  to introduce (as a microorganism or antiserum) into an organism or onto a culture medium <inoculate a pure culture of bacteria into a healthy host>
3
:  to introduce immunologically active material (as an antibody or antigen) into especially in order to treat or prevent a disease <inoculate children against diphtheria>
intransitive verb
:  to introduce microorganisms, vaccines, or sera by inoculation

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