percolate

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

Synonyms for percolate

Synonyms

bleed, exude, ooze, seep, strain, sweat, weep

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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

But the idea for Brava started percolating back in 2013, during the holidays. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "Brava Hopes to Heat Up the 'Smart Kitchen' With a $995 Oven," 10 July 2018 Soulquarius traced the last quarter century of R&B, and Rolling Loud stacked its bill with chart-topping rap acts and emcees percolating on SoundCloud, where young rappers are disrupting hip-hop tradition with DIY takes on the genre. Gerrick D. Kennedy, latimes.com, "Smokin' Grooves, BET Experience offer varying ambitions for R&B, rap fans," 21 June 2018 The result was a loss that not only left the Sixers one game away from the offseason but a performance that will only further a lot of narratives that have percolated all season. David Murphy, Philly.com, "From Jayson Tatum to Brad Stevens' coaching, an inconvenient loss for Sixers on many levels | David Murphy," 7 May 2018 Folks can and do drive right past it, unaware of the creative ideas percolating inside. Mary Colurso, AL.com, "Cool Spaces: This live-work building in Crestwood makes artists' dreams come true," 19 Apr. 2018 For that matter, that earlier generation of artists also was inclined to find metaphysical ideas percolating in their all-over painterly abstraction. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "Artist gets metaphysical at Columbia Art Center," 6 July 2018 Among the many brilliant ideas percolating in Ryan Murphy's brain is a take on the #MeToo movement that follows an anthology formula. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "What Do You Get When You Combine #MeToo & Black Mirror? A New Ryan Murphy Show," 7 May 2018 Signs of trouble at the Charlotte School of Law percolated for years. Jon Marcus /, NBC News, "As the Trump administration pulls back, states step in to regulate questionable colleges," 6 July 2018 As her initial ambivalence to education shows, milder forms of the idea behind Boko Haram have been percolating in Nigerian society for generations. Mark Sappenfield, The Christian Science Monitor, "Nigeria’s schoolgirl rebellion," 26 June 2018

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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Statistics for percolate

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for percolate

The first known use of percolate was in 1626

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More Definitions for percolate

percolate

verb

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 \
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 \
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, -lət \

Medical Definition of percolate (Entry 2 of 2)

: a product of percolation

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Comments on percolate

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