percolate

verb
per·​co·​late | \ ˈpər-kə-ˌlāt How to pronounce percolate (audio) , nonstandard -kyə- How to pronounce percolate (audio) \
percolated; percolating

Definition of percolate

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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 sense 2a the feud had been percolating for a long time

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Other Words from percolate

percolation \ ˌpər-​kə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce percolation (audio) \ noun

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.

Examples of percolate in a Sentence

Sunlight percolated down through the trees. Rumors percolated throughout the town. There is nothing like percolating coffee over an open campfire. Coffee was percolating on the stove.
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Recent Examples on the Web Glassman said the decision to nominate Lloyd for the position began to percolate in June. James Whitlow, baltimoresun.com, "Harford’s charter allows Glassman’s appointment of top administrative official to stand, despite council’s 4-3 vote against him," 16 Sep. 2020 One more win this week would signal that the Stars are past that stage and moving forward with a core that has needed years to percolate. Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Making progress: The Dallas Stars need one win to eliminate Avalanche, but that victory could mean so much more," 31 Aug. 2020 But prejudice and hate can still percolate beneath the surface. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "The duty and burden of the black police officer," 6 July 2020 Her sacking also comes as Starmer has promised to root out anti-Semitism that was allowed to percolate in the party under the leadership of his far-left predecessor Jeremy Corbyn. Fox News, "UK Labour leader sacks former left-wing rival for sharing article with ‘anti-Semitic conspiracy theories’," 25 June 2020 Clouds percolate through the day, and some showers or storms are likely by mid-to-late afternoon. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "PM Update: Showers and thunderstorms likely through the evening," 22 June 2020 Protest forged by the young will continue to percolate. Phillip Morris, National Geographic, "To enact change in the world, we must protest," 6 June 2020 Highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s help to percolate clouds as the afternoon progresses with showers and thunderstorms becoming likely (60 percent chance) by late day, especially after 5 p.m. David Streit, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Heat raises storm threat through Saturday but welcome relief arrives Sunday," 4 June 2020 Trump, though, spent much of last week promoting a contrarian gambit that has been percolating in the right-wing media. Steve Coll, The New Yorker, "The Meaning of Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Quackery," 29 Mar. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of percolate

1626, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for percolate

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

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Time Traveler for percolate

Time Traveler

The first known use of percolate was in 1626

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Statistics for percolate

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Percolate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/percolate. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for percolate

percolate

verb
How to pronounce percolate (audio) How to pronounce percolate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of percolate

: 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

verb
per·​co·​late | \ ˈpər-kə-ˌlāt How to pronounce percolate (audio) \
percolated; percolating

Kids Definition of percolate

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

Other Words from percolate

percolation \ ˌpər-​kə-​ˈlā-​shən \ noun
percolator \ -​ˌlā-​tər \ noun

percolate

verb
per·​co·​late | \ ˈpər-kə-ˌlāt How to pronounce percolate (audio) \
percolated; percolating

Medical Definition of percolate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

percolate

noun
per·​co·​late | \ -ˌlāt How to pronounce percolate (audio) , -lət How to pronounce percolate (audio) \

Medical Definition of percolate (Entry 2 of 2)

: a product of percolation

More from Merriam-Webster on percolate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for percolate

Nglish: Translation of percolate for Spanish Speakers

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