Definition of flocculate
- flocculate clay particles
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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."
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