per·​co·​la·​tor ˈpər-kə-ˌlā-tər How to pronounce percolator (audio)
-kyə- How to pronounce percolator (audio)
: one that percolates
specifically : a coffeepot in which boiling water rising through a tube is repeatedly deflected downward through a perforated basket containing ground coffee beans to extract their essence

Examples of percolator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In one scene, when Jackie is feeling trapped, the editing splices in an insert of a boiling coffee percolator and an old news clip of the Berlin Wall. Amy Nicholson, Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2024 All manner of appliances are celebrated here, including blenders, razors, hair dryers, coffee percolators and an impressive array of waffle irons. Edward M. Eveld, Kansas City Star, 25 Jan. 2024 The set includes a mid-century modern home with retro rooster wallpaper, a coffee percolator and vintage ‘50s Felix the Cat wall clock, as well as a sleek ‘50s diner with roller-skating waitresses. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Aug. 2023 All go into the ever-churning internal percolator that, for artists, will eventually spark inspiration for creative output. Lisa Wong MacAbasco, Vogue, 14 July 2023 The pint-size percolator serves up handcrafted, small-batch, micro-roasted coffee, a full menu of espresso drinks, and an assortment of freshly baked cookies, muffins and other pastry to enjoy on the covered deck or on the go. Andrea E. McHugh,, 6 July 2023 These days, designs are a step beyond the basic electric kettle pour-over or mini stainless steel percolator. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 1 May 2023 The mechanics are fairly similar to a percolator. Megan Wahn, Bon Appétit, 16 Aug. 2022 On Center Street, Charles H. Baldwin & Sons has been manufacturing pure vanilla and other fine extracts since 1888, following the same recipes as the founders — using only Madagascar beans — and the same copper percolator and aging barrels. Necee Regis, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'percolator.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of percolator was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near percolator

Cite this Entry

“Percolator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


per·​co·​la·​tor ˈpər-kə-ˌlāt-ər How to pronounce percolator (audio)
: a coffeepot in which boiling water rising through a tube is repeatedly turned downward through a basket with holes that contains ground coffee beans to make coffee

Medical Definition


per·​co·​la·​tor ˈpər-kə-ˌlāt-ər How to pronounce percolator (audio)
: an apparatus for the extraction of a drug with a liquid solvent by downward displacement

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