com·​mi·​nute | \ ˈkä-mə-ˌnüt How to pronounce comminute (audio) , -ˌnyüt \
comminuted; comminuting

Definition of comminute

transitive verb

: to reduce to minute particles : pulverize

Other Words from comminute

comminution \ ˌkä-​mə-​ˈnü-​shən How to pronounce comminute (audio) , -​ˈnyü-​ \ noun

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What do comminute, pulverize, and triturate all have in common? All three words are derived from Latin and share the meaning "to reduce to small particles." Comminute can be traced back to the prefix com- and the verb minuere, meaning "to lessen." Pulverize descends from a combination of pulver-, meaning "dust" or "powder," with the suffix -izare, which—like the English -ize—can mean "to cause to be." Triturate is borrowed from the past participle of the Latin triturare, which means "to thresh." Triturate specifically refers to the use of rubbing or grinding to achieve pulverization, a process which could be said to resemble the use of rubbing to separate grains from harvested cereal plants.

Examples of comminute in a Sentence

eons of incessant pounding by the waves have comminuted the once-rocky shoreline into a bed of fine-grained sand
Recent Examples on the Web The report of displacement (out of alignment) is not as worrisome as if the fracture was comminuted (pieces). Profootballdoc,, 5 Nov. 2017 Also, this prognosis is rooted in my hopefulness the fracture is not comminuted (in multiple pieces), as that might prolong the timeline by a couple of weeks. Profootballdoc,, 16 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comminute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of comminute

1626, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for comminute

Latin comminutus, past participle of comminuere, from com- + minuere to lessen — more at minor

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The first known use of comminute was in 1626

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Cite this Entry

“Comminute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for comminute


transitive verb
com·​mi·​nute | \ ˈkäm-ə-ˌn(y)üt How to pronounce comminute (audio) \
comminuted; comminuting

Medical Definition of comminute

: to reduce to minute particles prolonged trituration to comminute a therapeutic agent

Other Words from comminute

comminution \ ˌkäm-​ə-​ˈn(y)ü-​shən How to pronounce comminute (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on comminute

Nglish: Translation of comminute for Spanish Speakers

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