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, transude, 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

Nets optimism began to percolate in the wake of the Kyrie Irving deal and persisted for almost half the year. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "Rockets Skepticism, Lakers Coaching, and the Worst Takes of the NBA Season," 14 Mar. 2018 The moving-to-Europe idea had been percolating for a while by then. Marian Schembari, Good Housekeeping, "We Left America for a Better Life – And We're Saving Tons of Money," 18 Feb. 2016 The immediate prospect is for the trade dispute to percolate for the remainder of this year, gradually ratcheting up the economic pain in both countries. Danielle Paquette, The Seattle Times, "New round of US-China tariffs raise fears of an economic Cold War," 18 Sep. 2018 Some of the best tech, the kind with staying power, has been percolating for years, often after failing miserably at first. Stefanos Chen, The Seattle Times, "Real estate technology that could have a lasting effect on housing," 20 Nov. 2018 The 21c Museum Hotel brand chose Kansas City for its latest endeavor, piggybacking on the river city’s percolating art scene (from $185 a night, 21cmuseumhotels.com). Christian L. Wright, WSJ, "The 10 Most Intriguing Travel Destinations for 2019," 23 Oct. 2018 With the 2018 Emmys just around the corner, conversations have been percolating around representation on television. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Representation for Latina Actors Is at an All-Time High—But It's Still Not Enough," 11 Sep. 2018 This one relates most immediately to a set of Medicaid cases that are now percolating in the lower courts. Abbe Gluck, Vox, "The fate of the ACA could turn on Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment," 23 July 2018 To see what’s percolating in Scandinavian design, walk just 50 yards down the street to The Frozen Fountain, a playful contemporary furniture and interiors boutique that brings together Dutch designers of the moment with exciting local talent. Vogue, "Style Meets Substance—The 7 Must-Visit Shopping Neighborhoods Around the Globe," 24 Oct. 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

15 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on percolate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with percolate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for percolate

Spanish Central: Translation of percolate

Nglish: Translation of percolate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on percolate

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