Synonym Chooser

How does the verb inoculate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of inoculate are imbue, infuse, ingrain, leaven, and suffuse. While all these words mean "to introduce one thing into another so as to affect it throughout," inoculate implies an imbuing or implanting with a germinal idea and often suggests stealth or subtlety.

an electorate inoculated with dangerous ideas

In what contexts can imbue take the place of inoculate?

While in some cases nearly identical to inoculate, imbue implies the introduction of a quality that fills and permeates the whole being.

imbue students with intellectual curiosity

Where would infuse be a reasonable alternative to inoculate?

The words infuse and inoculate can be used in similar contexts, but infuse implies a pouring in of something that gives new life or significance.

new members infused enthusiasm into the club

When is it sensible to use ingrain instead of inoculate?

The words ingrain and inoculate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, ingrain, used only in the passive or past participle, suggests the deep implanting of a quality or trait.

clung to ingrained habits

When might leaven be a better fit than inoculate?

The meanings of leaven and inoculate largely overlap; however, leaven implies introducing something that enlivens, tempers, or markedly alters the total quality.

a serious play leavened with comic moments

When could suffuse be used to replace inoculate?

Although the words suffuse and inoculate have much in common, suffuse implies a spreading through of something that gives an unusual color or quality.

a room suffused with light


Thesaurus Entries Near inoculate

Cite this Entry

“Inoculate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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