fluo·​ri·​date ˈflu̇r-ə-ˌdāt How to pronounce fluoridate (audio) ˈflȯr- How to pronounce fluoridate (audio)
fluoridated; fluoridating

transitive verb

: to add a fluoride to (something, such as drinking water) to reduce tooth decay
fluoridation noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Late last night, Portlanders rejected a plan to fluoridate their city’s water supply (and the water of over a dozen other cities). Kyle Hill, Discover Magazine, 22 May 2013 In sparsely populated and largely rural Vermont, 29 of the 465 public water systems voluntarily fluoridate, and just over half of residents served by a public system get fluoridated water, according to the Vermont Department of Health. Lisa Rathke, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Oct. 2022 The vote makes Portland one of the largest American cities not to fluoridate its water supply, second only to San Jose. Keith Kloor, Discover Magazine, 22 May 2013 Why would Portland fluoridate if this poster were right? Kyle Hill, Discover Magazine, 22 May 2013 The addition of fluoride to public drinking water systems has been routine across the United States since the 1940s and 1950s but still doesn't sit well with some people, and many countries don't fluoridate water for various reasons. Lisa Rathke, USA TODAY, 10 Oct. 2022 More than one-third of Canadian residents get fluoridated tap water, while a small percentage of European residents do. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, 19 Aug. 2019 At an annual cost of about $325 million, more than 70 percent of Americans now have fluoridated water. Charles C. Mann, The Atlantic, 17 Mar. 2020 Adams County is one of 19 counties in Pennsylvania that does not have a supplier that adds fluoride or purchases fluoridated water. USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2020 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1949, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fluoridate was in 1949

Dictionary Entries Near fluoridate

Cite this Entry

“Fluoridate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fluoridate. Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


fluoridated; fluoridating
: to add a fluoride to (as drinking water) in order to reduce tooth decay

Medical Definition


transitive verb
flu·​o·​ri·​date ˈflu̇r-ə-ˌdāt How to pronounce fluoridate (audio) ˈflōr- How to pronounce fluoridate (audio)
fluoridated; fluoridating
: to add a fluoride to (as drinking water) to reduce tooth decay

More from Merriam-Webster on fluoridate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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