[ ih-nok-yuh-leyt ]
See synonyms for: inoculateinoculated on

verb (used with object),in·oc·u·lat·ed, in·oc·u·lat·ing.
  1. to implant (a disease agent or antigen) in a person, animal, or plant to produce a disease for study or to stimulate disease resistance.

  2. to affect or treat (a person, animal, or plant) in this manner.

  1. to introduce (microorganisms) into surroundings suited to their growth, as a culture medium.

  2. to imbue (a person), as with ideas.

  3. Metallurgy. to treat (molten metal) chemically to strengthen the microstructure.

verb (used without object),in·oc·u·lat·ed, in·oc·u·lat·ing.
  1. to perform inoculation.

Origin of inoculate

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin inoculātus, past participle of inoculāre “to graft by budding, implant,” equivalent to in- “in” + -oculā- (stem of -oculāre “to graft,” derivative of oculus “eye, bud”) + -tus past participle suffix; see in-2

Other words for inoculate

Other words from inoculate

  • in·oc·u·la·tive [ih-nok-yuh-ley-tiv, -yuh-luh-], /ɪˈnɒk yəˌleɪ tɪv, -yə lə-/, adjective
  • in·oc·u·la·tor, noun
  • non·in·oc·u·la·tive, adjective
  • re·in·oc·u·late, verb, re·in·oc·u·lat·ed, re·in·oc·u·lat·ing.
  • self-in·oc·u·lat·ed, adjective
  • un·in·oc·u·lat·ed, adjective
  • un·in·oc·u·la·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use inoculate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for inoculate


/ (ɪˈnɒkjʊˌleɪt) /

  1. to introduce (the causative agent of a disease) into the body of (a person or animal), in order to induce immunity

  2. (tr) to introduce (microorganisms, esp bacteria) into (a culture medium)

  1. (tr) to cause to be influenced or imbued, as with ideas or opinions

Origin of inoculate

C15: from Latin inoculāre to implant, from in- ² + oculus eye, bud

Derived forms of inoculate

  • inoculation, noun
  • inoculative, adjective
  • inoculator, noun

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