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

Definition of fluoridate

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from fluoridate

fluoridation \ ˌflu̇r-​ə-​ˈdā-​shən How to pronounce fluoridation (audio) , ˌflȯr-​ \ noun

Examples of fluoridate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Now, a controversial new study links fluoridation to lower IQ in young children, especially boys whose mothers drank fluoridated water while pregnant. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Drinking fluoridated water during pregnancy may lower IQ in sons, controversial study says," 19 Aug. 2019 Despite the clear benefit of fluoride, some studies have also challenged the belief that fluoridated drinking water stops dental decay as well as fluoride toothpaste or rinses. Jeff Donn, The Seattle Times, "Experts question benefits of fluoride-free toothpaste," 7 Aug. 2018 If your drinking water is not fluoridated, ask a medical professional whether your child needs oral fluoride supplements. Erin Gabriel, CNN, "Fewer dental cavities found in young people, but minorities still most at risk," 13 Apr. 2018 Even so, some utilities continue to fluoridate water to above the 0.7 ppm level. OregonLive.com, "Fluoride in water: When it helps vs. when it harms," 14 Dec. 2017 But the fluoride debate has been reignited by Boynton Beach’s delays in having fluoridated water back on tap. Brooke Baitinger, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Need fluoride added to your drinking water? Some cities go without it," 17 Aug. 2017 In 1964, a young lawyer named John Vasconcellos, later a long-serving legislator and figure of Doonesbury fun, led a campaign to fluoridate the water of the San Jose Water Co. Scott Herhold, The Mercury News, "Herhold: The worst local decisions of the last 50 years," 24 Apr. 2017 City council member Dan Bostrom noted that city water is fluoridated, and low-income families that avoid city taps aren’t doing any favors to their children’s dental health. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "St. Paul studies how whites, non-whites experience city; some findings eye-opening," 10 Feb. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of fluoridate

1949, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for fluoridate

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for fluoridate

The first known use of fluoridate was in 1949

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English Language Learners Definition of fluoridate

: to add fluoride to (water or toothpaste)


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

Kids Definition of fluoridate

: to add a fluoride to


transitive verb
flu·​o·​ri·​date | \ ˈflu̇r-ə-ˌdāt How to pronounce fluoridate (audio) , ˈflōr- How to pronounce fluoridate (audio) , ˈflȯr-\
fluoridated; fluoridating

Medical Definition of fluoridate

: to add a fluoride to (as drinking water) to reduce tooth decay

Other Words from fluoridate

fluoridation \ ˌflu̇r-​ə-​ˈdā-​shən, ˌflōr-​, ˌflȯr-​ How to pronounce fluoridation (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on fluoridate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fluoridate

Spanish Central: Translation of fluoridate

Nglish: Translation of fluoridate for Spanish Speakers

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