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par·​tic·​u·​late pär-ˈti-kyə-lət How to pronounce particulate (audio)
 also  -ˌlāt
: of or relating to minute separate particles


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: a particulate substance

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Of particular concern is how to limit diesel particulate matter from drifting into nearby neighborhoods as diesel trucks drove other routes – such as neighborhood streets -- to avoid the freeway during construction. oregonlive, 2 June 2020 Already, data has shown that cities are recording much lower levels of harmful microscopic particulate matter known as PM 2.5, and of nitrogen dioxide, which is released by vehicles and power plants. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, 12 May 2020 The American Lung Association ranks the Indianapolis, Carmel and Muncie metropolitan area as the 19th worst for year-round particulate pollution. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, 12 Apr. 2020 There’s some friction, in that the particulate pollution and carbon dioxide emissions of prescribed burns are counted as human-caused, while emissions from wildfires go in a separate category. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, 21 Jan. 2020 Boland is a project system engineer developing the MAIA instrument, the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols that will characterize particulate matter in air pollution. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 1 May 2020 Another air pollutant of concern is particulate matter, microscopic airborne particles of dust or soot that linger in the air, often from burning fossil fuels. Dennis Pillion |, al, 26 Apr. 2020 Boland is a project system engineer developing the MAIA instrument, the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols that will characterize particulate matter in air pollution. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 24 Apr. 2020 The researchers found that on a long term basis, an increase in the average concentration of particulate matter of one microgram per cubic meter led to a 15 percent higher death rate from the new coronavirus. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, 22 Apr. 2020
From 2013 to 2017, the concentration of dangerous fine particulate matter known as PM 2.5 in China’s atmosphere declined by roughly a third. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2022 The report cited a 2021 Stanford study which found that wildfires are responsible for up to half of small particulate matter in parts of the West, compared to less than 20% a decade ago. Claire Hao, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Nov. 2022 Black, Asian, Latino and low-income communities disproportionately have higher levels of particulate matter than white and richer communities. Nada Hassanein, USA TODAY, 26 Oct. 2022 Bird said the top priorities for Utah are not for dust pollution, but for ozone and PM2.5, or fine particulate pollution, but that could very well change with the Great Salt Lake. The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Oct. 2022 Trucks make up only 6% of vehicles on America’s roads but produce almost 60% of smog-forming emissions and about 55% of particulate pollution, said Will Barrett, one of the study’s authors and senior director of advocacy for the group. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 5 Oct. 2022 Some areas in the Western United States had increases in particulate pollution from smoke that were about the same amount as the improvements in air quality from regulating factories and other point source pollution. Mira Rojanasakul, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2022 Wildfires in the West caused similar issues in different states, with dangerous levels of particulate pollution detected by government and private monitors in portions of eastern Oregon and Washington, northern California and central Idaho. Julia Musto, Fox News, 13 Sep. 2022 This fine particulate pollution, known as PM2.5, is linked to asthma, cardiovascular problems and premature death. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 6 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History



Latin particula

First Known Use


1870, in the meaning defined above


1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of particulate was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near particulate

Cite this Entry

“Particulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



: a substance made up of very small separate particles

Medical Definition

particulate 1 of 2


par·​tic·​u·​late pär-ˈtik-yə-lət How to pronounce particulate (audio)
: of, relating to, or existing in the form of minute separate particles
dust, smoke, and other particulate matter
: of or relating to particulate inheritance
the particulate theory of heredity Julian Huxley


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: a particulate substance
emission of particulates by car engines
cytoplasmic particulates in the cell

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