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 The new ice carves out gaps where water can percolate every summer season, so the wedges gather more ice and expand over time. Madeline Ostrander, Smithsonian Magazine, "In a Tunnel Beneath Alaska, Scientists Race to Understand Disappearing Permafrost," 4 May 2020 The allegations have percolated for weeks, a period in which Biden has become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Matt Viser, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden critics point to news about assault claim," 28 Apr. 2020 Whatever the case, Barton’s article percolated through the American nursing world. Los Angeles Times, "Did a Bakersfield nursing student invent hand sanitizer? Coronavirus reignites the Lupe Hernandez debate," 25 Apr. 2020 Anti-government sentiment has percolated among far-right extremists in recent weeks over the stay-at-home orders governors have issued to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. NBC News, "In Trump's 'LIBERATE' tweets, extremists see a call to arms," 17 Apr. 2020 Over a bottle of orange wine on the back patio of Carroll Gardens mainstay Frankies 457, Alison Roman percolates with a confidence that cools only when talk turns to the uptick of new people sliding into her DMs. Michael O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, "How Alison Roman Became the Face of Home Cooking, Apocalypse Notwithstanding," 9 Apr. 2020 The existential questions always percolating in the back of my mind, the ones that come to a simmer whenever my anxiety or depression burners get turned up—those are now at a furious boil (and being joined by some fun new pandemic-specific ones). Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Is Anyone Else Just Barely Functioning Right Now?," 24 Mar. 2020 Questions percolated about where HotChalk stopped and Concordia began. oregonlive, "Concordia University’s online vision hid grim reality," 28 Feb. 2020 Depending on the type of jet fuel, the amount leaked and the depth of the groundwater wells along Pleasant Run Creek, some of the toxic hydrocarbons could percolate down into the groundwater. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Jet fuel from I-465 tanker explosion has dripped into a creek. Here’s what’s being done.," 25 Feb. 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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Learn More about percolate

Time Traveler for percolate

Time Traveler

The first known use of percolate was in 1626

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Statistics for percolate

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Percolate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/percolate. Accessed 31 May. 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on percolate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for percolate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with percolate

Spanish Central: Translation of percolate

Nglish: Translation of percolate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on percolate

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