percolate

play
verb per·co·late \ ˈpər-kə-ˌlāt , nonstandard -kyə- \

Definition of percolate

percolated; percolating
transitive verb
1 a :to cause (a solvent) to pass through a permeable substance (such as a powdered drug) especially for extracting a soluble constituent
b :to prepare (coffee) in a percolator
2 :to be diffused through :penetrate
intransitive verb
1 :to ooze or trickle through a permeable substance :seep
2 a :to become percolated
b :to become lively or effervescent
3 :to spread gradually
  • allow the sunlight to percolate into our rooms
  • —Norman Douglas
4 :simmer 2a
  • the feud had been percolating for a long time

percolation

play \ˌpər-kə-ˈlā-shən\ noun

Examples of percolate in a Sentence

  1. Sunlight percolated down through the trees.

  2. Rumors percolated throughout the town.

  3. There is nothing like percolating coffee over an open campfire.

  4. Coffee was percolating on the stove.

Recent Examples of percolate from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Percolate comes from a Latin verb meaning "to put through a sieve". Something that percolates filters through something else, just as small particles pass through a sieve. Water is drawn downward through the soil, and this percolation usually cleans the water. A slow rain is ideal for percolating into the soil, since in a violent rainstorm most of it quickly runs off. For this reason, drip irrigation is the most effective and water-conserving form of irrigation. Percolation isn't always a physical process; awareness of an issue may percolate slowly into the minds of the public, just as Spanish words may gradually percolate into English, often starting in the Southwest.

Origin and Etymology of percolate

Latin percolatus, past participle of percolare, from per- through + colare to sieve — more at per-, colander

percolate Synonyms


PERCOLATE Defined for English Language Learners

percolate

play
verb

Definition of percolate for English Language Learners

  • : to pass slowly through something that has many small holes in it

  • : to spread slowly

  • : to make (coffee) in a special pot (called a percolator)


PERCOLATE Defined for Kids

percolate

play
verb per·co·late \ ˈpər-kə-ˌlāt \

Definition of percolate for Students

percolated; percolating
1 :to trickle or cause to trickle through something porous :ooze
  • Water percolated through sand.
2 :to prepare (coffee) by passing hot water through ground coffee beans again and again

percolation

\ˌpər-kə-ˈlā-shən\ noun

percolator

\-ˌlā-tər\ noun

Medical Dictionary

1

percolate

play
verb per·co·late \ ˈpər-kə-ˌlāt \

medical Definition of percolate

percolated; percolating
transitive verb
1 :to cause (a solvent) to pass through a permeable substance (as a powdered drug) especially for extracting a soluble constituent
2 :to be diffused through
intransitive verb
1 :to ooze or trickle through a permeable substance
2 :to become percolated

2

percolate

play
noun per·co·late \ -ˌlāt , -lət \

medical Definition of percolate

:a product of percolation


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