par·tic·u·late | \pär-ˈti-kyə-lət also -ˌlāt \

Definition of particulate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to minute separate particles



Definition of particulate (Entry 2 of 2)

: a particulate substance

Examples of particulate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The researchers noted the hand dryers did not have the HEPA [high-efficiency particulate air] filters that come in most Dyson models. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Bathroom hand dryers spraying poop on your hands, study finds," 14 Apr. 2018 The studies found that exposure to even relatively low particulate levels increased premature deaths. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Critics allege EPA’s new transparency rule has hidden pro-industry agenda," 1 May 2018 The main worry is with the tiniest motes — known as PM 2.5, particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns across. Sara Morrison, USA TODAY, "In developing world, an expensive push to reduce cooking fire deaths falls short," 13 July 2018 By mid-century, scientists forecast an additional 13,000 human deaths annually caused by high levels of fine particulate matter in the summer and another 3,000 caused by ozone in the Eastern United States. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Are air conditioners slowly killing us?," 11 July 2018 Specifically, the project will deploy six new air-quality sensors to track a number of air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter and ozone. Joshua Emerson Smith,, "$10 million in cap-and-trade dollars awarded for environmental justice programs, including to native tribe in San Diego," 11 July 2018 The principal sources of particulate matter differ across sub-Saharan Africa. Washington Post, "Africa’s pollution killing thousands of infants, study says," 27 June 2018 But conservatives and industry groups say considering the co-benefits of Clean Air Act rules is duplicative, since the NAAQS already takes account of particulate matter. Maxine Joselow, Science | AAAS, "Clean air advocates worried by EPA’s move to rethink cost-benefit calculations," 25 June 2018 The borough has fallen short of federal pollution rules for fine particulate matter. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "$61 million sale finalized in effort to cut Fairbanks energy costs, air pollution," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Forced-air furnaces can produce dust, and particulates can be especially heavy in homes with wood-burning fireplaces. Debbie Carlson,, "5 areas to tackle during spring cleaning," 22 May 2018 Another key strategy is to reduce emissions of ammonia, which fuels chemical reactions in the atmosphere that produce an array of problematic particulates. Matt Warren, Science | AAAS, "United Kingdom unveils ambitious air pollution plan," 29 May 2018 The AirU program has students building their own particulate-matter sensors, starting with toy blocks, a cheap Arduino computer board, and a photo resistor that scatters light to detect particles of pollution. Jason Plautz, WIRED, "Cheap, Portable Sensors Are Democratizing Air-Quality Data," 11 July 2018 One thing Migliaccio predicts the scientists might see is an uptick in respiratory infections — because those fine particulates in wildfire smoke can damage and even kill cells in the lungs that get rid of the harmful substances people inhale. Nora Saks, Washington Post, "Following The Fire: Montana Scientists Seize Chance To Scrutinize Smoke Exposure," 27 Feb. 2018 The technology works well for particulates, the pollution that can come from dust, smoke, and diesel exhaust and can lodge in the lungs and bloodstream. Jason Plautz, WIRED, "Cheap, Portable Sensors Are Democratizing Air-Quality Data," 11 July 2018 The plan involves cleaning up rogue fibers on surfaces using wet-wiping and vacuums with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, and making necessary repairs, Locke said. Wendy Ruderman,, "After hazards were exposed, Philadelphia school district launches massive summer cleanup," 21 June 2018 The result has been a dramatic reduction in fine particulates in the atmosphere, which is the primary source of air pollution. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "China's Anti-Pollution Initiative Produces Stellar Results," 12 Mar. 2018 Boland’s hypothesis is that the culprit in canines is exposure to outdoor air pollution — fine air particulates, including dust and pollen — early in a puppy’s development. Stacey Burling,, "Penn study: Summer puppies more prone to heart disease," 21 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of particulate


1870, in the meaning defined above


1942, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for particulate


Latin particula

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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The first known use of particulate was in 1870

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par·tic·u·late | \pär-ˈtik-yə-lət \

Medical Definition of particulate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or existing in the form of minute separate particles dust, smoke, and other particulate matter

2 : of or relating to particulate inheritance the particulate theory of heredity— Julian Huxley



Medical Definition of particulate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Britannica English: Translation of particulate for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about particulate

Comments on particulate

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evasion of direct action or statement

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