Word of the Day : May 4, 2018

flocculate

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verb FLAH-kyuh-layt

Definition

: to aggregate or coalesce into small lumps or loose clusters

Did You Know?

In the late 16th century, scientists noticed that the loose masses separated from a solution or suspension through precipitation often resembled tufts of wool, and they began to refer to them as flocks, using a word for "tufts" that comes ultimately from the synonymous Latin word floccus. (This flock is not related to the flock that refers to a group of animals, which comes from Old English flocc, meaning "crowd" or "band.") About two centuries later, the Late Latin term flocculus found its way into English and was also used with the meaning "a small loosely aggregated mass." By the end of the 19th century, a whole word family had been formed, including the adjective flocculent, the noun floccule, and the verb flocculate.


Examples

During fermentation, yeast cells flocculate and either rise to the top or sink to the bottom of the vat.

"The polymer causes organics and dirt in the water to flocculate or collect together out of suspension." — Jill Pickett, The News-Enterprise (Elizabethtown, Kentucky), 2 May 2013



Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete a verb that means "to gather together or form into a mass or group": c _ _ g _ l _ _ e.

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