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

Other Words from percolate

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

Synonyms for percolate

Synonyms

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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.
Recent Examples on the Web This may change as other issues—inflation and the war in Ukraine—percolate in the news and force Trump to think about something other than his monomaniacal devotion to the Big Lie. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 25 Mar. 2022 The impact of those increases will take months to percolate through the economy. Allison Morrow, CNN, 4 Feb. 2022 Many sustainability initiatives are new and complex; some need to percolate for an extended time before any tangible benefits to both the environment and the business can be measured and realized. Rouzbeh Amini, Forbes, 20 Jan. 2022 Meanwhile, word began to percolate that something was up with the team results when the medals were not given out. Feb 9: The issue with the team figure skating event was revealed to the world. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2022 While debates about cancel culture, voting rights and who qualifies for which athletic competition percolate on the policy level, consumers are voting with their identities. Mario Carrasco, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 Every year new rumors begin to percolate about an aging star soccer player in Europe looking to play the beautiful game for a North American club. Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY, 2 Mar. 2022 But one issue continues to percolate over the party: Whether the 2020 election was rigged and stolen, a lie that Trump continues to peddle and which a growing number of GOP candidates are embracing to curry favor with the former President. Manu Raju And Alex Rogers, CNN, 25 Jan. 2022 Kara Cutruzzula, a freelance journalist, knows things take a while to percolate. Geri Stengel, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near percolate

Percoidea

percolate

percolating filter

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Statistics for percolate

Last Updated

17 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Percolate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/percolate. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for percolate

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

Nglish: Translation of percolate for Spanish Speakers

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