• synonyms


[ih-nok-yuh-luh m]
noun, plural in·oc·u·la [ih-nok-yuh-luh] /ɪˈnɒk yə lə/.
  1. the substance used to make an inoculation.
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Origin of inoculum

1900–05; < New Latin, equivalent to inocul(āre) to inoculate + -um noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for inoculum

Historical Examples

  • Charge a platinum loop with a small quantity of the inoculum.

    The Elements of Bacteriological Technique

    John William Henry Eyre

  • Flame the plugs, open the tubes, sterilise the platinum needle and charge it with the inoculum as in the previous cultivations.

  • Add one loopful of the inoculum to tube No. 1, treating the liquefied medium as bouillon.

  • Should any drops of the inoculum be forced out, they will fall on the filter paper, which should be immediately burned.

  • Introduce the inoculum in the form of an emulsion by means of another pipette.

British Dictionary definitions for inoculum



noun plural -la (-lə) or -lants
  1. med the substance used in giving an inoculation
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Word Origin

C20: New Latin; see inoculate
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

inoculum in Medicine


n. pl. in•oc•u•lums
  1. The microorganisms or other material used in an inoculation.inoculant
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.