par·​tic·​u·​late | \ pär-ˈti-kyə-lət How to pronounce particulate (audio) 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 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, "Oregon’s Rose Quarter environmental review was ‘adequate,’ state didn’t explain its own work well, report finds," 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, "India's carbon emissions drop for the first time in four decades," 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, "Air pollution down 38% in Indianapolis as Hoosiers stay home to stop spread of coronavirus," 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, "Why isn’t California using more prescribed burns to reduce fire risk?," 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, "A ventilator developed by NASA has been approved by the FDA for coronavirus patients," 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, "Air quality improves as fewer Alabamians drive during shutdowns," 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, "NASA team developed a ventilator tailored for coronavirus patients in 37 days," 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, "Air pollution has made the COVID-19 pandemic worse," 22 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An April study found that each microgram increase in fine particulate matter per cubic meter of air worsened COVID-19 outcome death rates in the United States by 8%. Eli Cahan, Science | AAAS, "COVID-19 worries douse plans for fire experiments," 11 Sep. 2020 Air pollution fills our lungs with harmful particulate matter that can lead to lung failure and disease, and rising temperatures increase the risk of dehydration and heat stroke. Tiffany Onyejiaka, Glamour, "Black Maternal Mortality Is Already a Crisis—Climate Change Is Making It Worse," 9 Sep. 2020 If the air gets even more saturated with the particulate matter in smoke, the Department of Environmental Quality will warn sensitive groups that being outside is dangerous. oregonlive, "Wildfire smoke pours into Portland metro, threatening air quality; state warns worse could come," 8 Sep. 2020 Parts of Southern California, for example, still can’t meet EPA standards for fine particulate matter. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "City pavement is a big source of air pollution," 3 Sep. 2020 Another example is fine particulate matter (known as PM2.5) associated with air pollution, much of it linked to the burning of fossil fuels that help drive the warming. Neelu Tummala, Scientific American, "What Climate Change Does to the Human Body," 29 Aug. 2020 Each of those cities reported unhealthy levels of PM2.5, the particulate matter found in wildfire smoke. Kevin Fagan,, "No new fires from weekend lightning, but destruction from giant Bay Area blazes continues," 24 Aug. 2020 Air quality experts measure the amount of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) in the air. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "California wildfires rage in Napa Valley, Redwood trees burn in state park: What we know," 22 Aug. 2020 Flaring releases greenhouse gases and hazardous air pollutants, including particulate matter, black carbon, benzene and hydrogen sulfide, pollutants that have been linked to respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Jill Johnston, The Conversation, "The risk of preterm birth rises near gas flaring, reflecting deep-rooted environmental injustices in rural America," 20 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for particulate

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The first known use of particulate was in 1870

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Statistics for particulate

Cite this Entry

“Particulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for particulate


par·​tic·​u·​late | \ pär-ˈtik-yə-lət How to pronounce particulate (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on particulate

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

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