floc·​cu·​late | \ ˈflä-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce flocculate (audio) \
flocculated; flocculating

Definition of flocculate

transitive verb

: to cause to aggregate into a flocculent mass flocculate clay particles

intransitive verb

: to become flocculent

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from flocculate

flocculant \ ˈflä-​kyə-​lənt How to pronounce flocculant (audio) \ noun
flocculation \ ˌflä-​kyə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce flocculation (audio) \ noun
flocculator \ ˈflä-​kyə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce flocculator (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

In the late 16th century, scientists noticed that the loose masses separated from a solution or suspension through precipitation often resembled tufts of wool, and they began to refer to them as "flocks," using another word for "tufts." (This "flock" is not related to the word flock that refers to a group of animals, which comes from Old English flocc, meaning "crowd" or "band.") About two centuries later, the Late Latin term flocculus found its way into English and was also used with the meaning "a small loosely aggregated mass." By the end of the 19th century, a whole word family had been formed, including the adjective "flocculent," the noun "floccule," and the verb "flocculate."

First Known Use of flocculate

1877, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about flocculate

Time Traveler for flocculate

Time Traveler

The first known use of flocculate was in 1877

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about flocculate

Statistics for flocculate

Cite this Entry

“Flocculate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flocculate. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for flocculate


floc·​cu·​late | \ ˈfläk-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce flocculate (audio) \
flocculated; flocculating

Medical Definition of flocculate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause to aggregate into a flocculent mass denature and flocculate cell proteins

Other Words from flocculate

flocculation \ ˌfläk-​yə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce flocculation (audio) \ noun


floc·​cu·​late | \ -lət How to pronounce flocculate (audio) , -ˌlāt How to pronounce flocculate (audio) \

Medical Definition of flocculate (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that has flocculated

Comments on flocculate

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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