macerate

verb
mac·​er·​ate | \ ˈma-sə-ˌrāt How to pronounce macerate (audio) \
macerated; macerating

Definition of macerate

transitive verb

1 : to cause to waste away by or as if by excessive fasting
2 : to cause to become soft or separated into constituent elements by or as if by steeping in fluid broadly : steep, soak

intransitive verb

: to soften and wear away especially as a result of being wetted or steeped

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from macerate

maceration \ ˌma-​sə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce maceration (audio) \ noun
macerator \ ˈma-​sə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce macerator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for macerate

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

Macerate is derived from the Latin verb macerare, meaning "to soften" or "to steep." That meaning was borrowed into English in 1563. However, the first English use of "macerate" refers to the wasting away of flesh especially by fasting. That use manifested itself in 1547. A few other manifestations sprouted thereafter from the word's figurative branch (e.g., Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) once wrote of "a city so macerated with expectation"); however, those extensions wilted in time. Today, the "steeping" and "soaking" senses of "macerate" saturate culinary articles (as in "macerating fruit in liquor") as well as other writings (scientific ones, for instance: "the food is macerated in the gizzard" or "the wood is macerated in the solution").

Examples of macerate in a Sentence

garnished with cherries that had been macerated in liqueur
Recent Examples on the Web Ribolla Gialla white grapes, prized for winemaking in the region, are macerated and slowly allowed to ferment with their skins for a year. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Meet the ‘Orange Wine’ of Vinegars," 6 Apr. 2020 Allow the ingredients to macerate in the bowl of the mortar for several minutes. Tara Duggan, SFChronicle.com, "Alice Waters and daughter Fanny Singer in Q&A about Singer’s memoir of life with Bay Area legend," 30 Mar. 2020 The '15 has more concentrated fruit - a smidgen macerated - with butterscotch and slightly stronger nose. cleveland, "13 inexpensive wines to consider sipping in February (photos)," 2 Feb. 2020 Most rosé wines are made from the juice of red grapes, which is briefly macerated with the pigment-laden skins. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "Rosé champagne brings the holiday joy," 28 Dec. 2019 Other methods exist, notably vapor infusion, whereby the botanicals, rather than macerating in the alcohol and water, are hung above, in sieves or baskets, through which the steam ascends. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Intoxicating History of Gin," 2 Dec. 2019 To make the wine according to ancient Venetian tradition, the juice is macerated on skins for 40 days, a practice that lends it the characteristic golden color and gives it a structure more akin to a red wine. Melanie Haiken, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Lost Golden Grape of Venice: How an Italian Family Resurrected its Rarest Wine," 16 Dec. 2019 The pizza has all the hallmarks of Neapolitan-style pizza with a few seasonal tricks, one example being the summer pizza with market peaches macerated in chili oil, mascarpone cheese and fresh mozzarella topped with prosciutto and cracked pepper. Gerry Frank, oregonlive, "Lake Oswego restaurateurs score a hat trick with new taqueria," 29 Sep. 2019 Andrés’s tips include macerating the peaches and raspberries in sugar for about an hour. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "Peaches, raspberries and wine: This white sangria is bright and refreshing," 7 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'macerate.' 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 macerate

1547, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for macerate

Latin maceratus, past participle of macerare to soften, steep

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about macerate

Time Traveler for macerate

Time Traveler

The first known use of macerate was in 1547

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about macerate

Statistics for macerate

Cite this Entry

“Macerate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/macerate. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for macerate

macerate

verb
mac·​er·​ate | \ ˈmas-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce macerate (audio) \
macerated; macerating

Medical Definition of macerate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to soften (as tissue) by steeping or soaking so as to separate into constituent elements

intransitive verb

: to undergo maceration allow the drug to macerate in hot water for one hour

macerate

noun
mac·​er·​ate | \ ˈmas-ə-rət How to pronounce macerate (audio) \

Medical Definition of macerate (Entry 2 of 2)

: a product of macerating : something prepared by maceration examining the chromosomes in a liver macerate — compare homogenate

More from Merriam-Webster on macerate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for macerate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with macerate

Comments on macerate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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