in·​oc·​u·​lum | \ i-ˈnä-kyə-ləm How to pronounce inoculum (audio) \
plural inocula\ i-​ˈnä-​kyə-​lə How to pronounce inocula (audio) \

Definition of inoculum

: material used for inoculation

Examples of inoculum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But in the grand scheme of history, it may also be seen as a very costly inoculum against future events. Evan Ratliff, Wired, "We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn't We?," 16 June 2020 The size of the inoculum determines the likelihood and severity of infection in respiratory viral infections. WSJ, "Masks Are a Real Help In Disease Protection," 31 May 2020 Vaccination with live virus was a tightrope walk: if the amount of viral inoculum in the powder was too great, the child would succumb to a full-fledged version of the disease—a disaster that occurred perhaps one in a hundred times. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The New Yorker, "How Does the Coronavirus Behave Inside a Patient?," 26 Mar. 2020 Intimate and casual contact with a newborn by infected mother does transmit the inoculum, the droplets exhaled, coughed or sneezed. NBC News, "5 things every woman needs to know about coronavirus," 19 Mar. 2020 Good sanitation involves removal of all tomato plant parts at the end of the growing season to remove most of the inoculum. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Tomato — the 'luscious beauty' of the garden and how to fight diseases," 8 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of inoculum

1902, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inoculum

New Latin, from Latin inoculare

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inoculum

Time Traveler for inoculum

Time Traveler

The first known use of inoculum was in 1902

See more words from the same year

Statistics for inoculum

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inoculum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for inoculum


in·​oc·​u·​lum | \ in-ˈäk-yə-ləm How to pronounce inoculum (audio) \
plural inocula\ -​lə How to pronounce inocula (audio) \

Medical Definition of inoculum

: material used for inoculation

Comments on inoculum

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!