comminute

verb com·mi·nute \ ˈkä-mə-ˌnüt , -ˌnyüt \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of comminute

comminuted; comminuting
transitive verb
:to reduce to minute particles :pulverize

comminution

play \ˌkä-mə-ˈnü-shən, -ˈnyü-\ noun

comminute was our Word of the Day on 09/04/2009. Hear the podcast!

Examples of comminute in a Sentence

  1. eons of incessant pounding by the waves have comminuted the once-rocky shoreline into a bed of fine-grained sand

Recent Examples of comminute from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of comminute

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


Medical Dictionary

comminute

transitive verb com·mi·nute \ ˈkäm-ə-ˌn(y)üt \

medical Definition of comminute

comminuted; comminuting
:to reduce to minute particles
  • prolonged trituration to comminute a therapeutic agent

comminution

play \ˌkäm-ə-ˈn(y)ü-shən\ noun


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up comminute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a blind with adjustable horizontal slats

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!