oc·​clude | \ ə-ˈklüd How to pronounce occlude (audio) , ä- \
occluded; occluding

Definition of occlude

transitive verb

1 : to close up or block off : obstruct a thrombus occluding a coronary artery also : conceal cosmetics that occlude pores
2 : sorb Palladium occludes large volumes of hydrogen.

intransitive verb

1 : to come into contact with cusps of the opposing teeth fitting together His teeth do not occlude properly.
2 : to become occluded

Examples of occlude in a Sentence

a blood clot had occluded a major artery in his body
Recent Examples on the Web The series begins with these stereotypes, then works to reveal the humanity that the stereotypes occlude. New York Times, 13 May 2022 The key is using heavyweights of at least 60% of max to assault the muscle and occlude arterial blood flow. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 12 May 2022 Auden comes to think of our sinfulness as but part of the human story, and to see that a single-minded focus on it can diminish or even occlude gratitude. Alan Jacobs, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 Only about 10 percent of infected people develop serious manifestations, such as fungal growths that occlude their lungs, and only about 1 percent develop the most dire complications: fungal invasion of their bones, joints, spine, and brain. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, 11 Nov. 2021 But the prying eyes of commercial banks looking to occlude bank accounts with incriminating evidence of crypto transactions scare traders more. Grace Akinosun, Quartz, 17 Mar. 2021 Feinstein extrapolated that statement to express a fear that Barrett, a textualist who once clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, would allow her faith to occlude her legal judgment if a challenge to Roe should arise. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, 24 Sep. 2020 In the first, a patient who from birth had one eye occluded — from a cataract, for example, or from rare eyelid problems — but then had that anatomical problem removed still ended up with one blind or nearly blind eye. Quanta Magazine, 24 Mar. 2020 The only problem: Roads can be occluded by buildings, trees, or even street signs. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 27 Jan. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of occlude

1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for occlude

Latin occludere, from ob- in the way + claudere to shut, close — more at close entry 1

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Time Traveler for occlude

Time Traveler

The first known use of occlude was in 1581

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Dictionary Entries Near occlude



occluded front

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Statistics for occlude

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Occlude.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occlude. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for occlude


oc·​clude | \ ə-ˈklüd, ä- How to pronounce occlude (audio) \
occluded; occluding

Medical Definition of occlude

transitive verb

1 : to close up or block off : obstruct a thrombus occluding a coronary artery
2 : to bring (upper and lower teeth) into occlusion
3 : to take in and retain (a substance) in the interior rather than on an external surface : sorb proteins in precipitating may occlude alcohol

intransitive verb

1 : to come into contact with cusps of the opposing teeth fitting together his teeth do not occlude properly
2 : to become occluded


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