agglomerate

[ verb uh-glom-uh-reyt; adjective, noun uh-glom-er-it, -uh-reyt ]
/ verb əˈglɒm əˌreɪt; adjective, noun əˈglɒm ər ɪt, -əˌreɪt /

verb (used with or without object), ag·glom·er·at·ed, ag·glom·er·at·ing.

to collect or gather into a cluster or mass.

adjective

gathered together into a cluster or mass.
Botany. crowded into a dense cluster, but not cohering.

noun

a mass of things clustered together.
rock composed of rounded or angular volcanic fragments.

QUIZZES

BEAT THE DOLDRUMS WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

We know you’ll tackle this quiz totis viribus! See how many words from the week of Oct 12–18, 2020 you get right!
Question 1 of 7
What does “Indigenous” mean?

Origin of agglomerate

1675–85; <Latin agglomerātus (past participle of agglomerāre), equivalent to ag-ag- + glomer- (stem of glomus ball of yarn) + -ātus-ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM agglomerate

ag·glom·er·a·tive [uh-glom-uh-rey-tiv, -er-uh-tiv], /əˈglɒm əˌreɪ tɪv, -ər ə tɪv/, adjectiveag·glom·er·a·tor, nounnon·ag·glom·er·a·tive, adjectiveun·ag·glom·er·a·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does agglomerate mean?

Agglomerate means to collect or gather into a cluster or mass, especially a messy or jumbled one.

As a verb, agglomerate is typically used in a passive way (as opposed to someone doing the agglomerating), as in Much of the garbage in the ocean has agglomerated into a giant floating mass.

The process of agglomerating is called agglomeration. Agglomeration can also refer to a messy cluster or jumbled collection of various elements. Agglomeration is often used to refer to groupings of miscellaneous things—such as various types of objects or even people—into a single (though often somewhat messy) unit. Agglomerate can also be used as a noun to mean the same thing.

The similar word conglomerate can be used in many of the same ways that agglomerate can, but it doesn’t doesn’t always imply a sense of messiness like agglomerate does. And conglomerate is most commonly used as a noun meaning a large corporation consisting of many companies.

Agglomerate can also be used as an adjective to describe things gathered together into a jumbled mass, as in My desk has become an agglomerate mess.

It can also be used in a few more specific ways. In botany, it’s used as an adjective to describe plant parts that are crowded into a dense cluster but not fully connected. In geology, it’s used as a noun referring to a type of rock composed of volcanic fragments.

Example: I forgot that the art project was due today, so my collage is really just an agglomerate of things I found around the house.

Where does agglomerate come from?

The first records of the word agglomerate come from the 1600s. It comes from the Latin agglomerāre, from glomerāre, meaning “to wind into a ball,” from glomus, meaning “ball” or “mass.”

As a noun, agglomerate refers to a mass of different things that have agglomerated together. A dish made from all the leftovers in the fridge could be called an agglomerate—especially when they don’t quite go together (though that quiche and meatball sandwich was pretty delicious). The United States is sometimes described as an agglomerate of different peoples from different places.

Agglomerate is perhaps more commonly used as a verb. When things agglomerate, they often get lumped together in one big jumble. This often happens through natural processes, such as flotsam agglomerating in the ocean or, slightly less naturally, stuff agglomerating in a big pile at the back of the closet.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to agglomerate?

  • agglomeration (noun)
  • agglomerative (adjective)
  • agglomerator (noun)

What are some synonyms for agglomerate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with agglomerate

What are some words that often get used in discussing agglomerate?

What are some words agglomerate may be commonly confused with?

How is agglomerate used in real life?

The word agglomerate typically involves a collection or mass of various things in a single unit. It often implies messiness, but this isn’t always negative.

 

 

Try using agglomerate!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of agglomerate?

A. cluster
B. dissipate
C. jumble
D. mass

Example sentences from the Web for agglomerate

British Dictionary definitions for agglomerate

agglomerate

verb (əˈɡlɒməˌreɪt)

to form or be formed into a mass or cluster; collect

noun (əˈɡlɒmərɪt, -ˌreɪt)

a confused mass
a rock consisting of angular fragments of volcanic lavaCompare conglomerate (def. 2)

adjective (əˈɡlɒmərɪt, -ˌreɪt)

formed into a mass

Derived forms of agglomerate

agglomeration, nounagglomerative, adjective

Word Origin for agglomerate

C17: from Latin agglomerāre, from glomerāre to wind into a ball, from glomus ball, mass
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012