• synonyms


[adjective mak-yuh-lit; verb mak-yuh-leyt]
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  1. spotted; stained.
  2. Archaic. defiled; impure.
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verb (used with object), mac·u·lat·ed, mac·u·lat·ing. Archaic.
  1. to mark with a spot or spots; stain.
  2. to sully or pollute.
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Origin of maculate

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin maculātus (past participle of maculāre to spot, stain). See macula, -ate1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for maculate

sully, debase, pollute, tarnish, smear, muddy, taint, smudge, degrade, contaminate, besmirch, tar, dishonor, discolor, desecrate, vitiate, speckle, mottle, spotted, checkered

Examples from the Web for maculate

Historical Examples of maculate

  • Josephina owns one unchanging dress, septic, maculate and repellent.

    I, Mary MacLane

    Mary MacLane

  • We are maculate, and it is given to no man to probe the mystery of existence.

    A Secret Inheritance (Volume 1 of 3)

    B. L. (Benjamin Leopold) Farjeon

  • His heavy, blunt hand fumbled under the maculate apron; his chest heaved with a sudden, tempestuous breathing.

    Wild Oranges

    Joseph Hergesheimer

  • Maculate -ed: spotted or marked with figures of any shape, of a color different from the ground.

British Dictionary definitions for maculate


verb (ˈmækjʊˌleɪt)
  1. (tr) to spot, stain, or pollute
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adjective (ˈmækjʊlɪt)
  1. spotted or polluted
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Word Origin for maculate

C15: from Latin maculāre to stain
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

Word Origin and History for maculate


"spotted," late 15c., from Latin maculatus, past participle of maculare "to make spotted, to speckle," from macula "spot, stain" (see macula). Middle English also had maculation "sexual defilement, sinning" (late 15c.).

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early 15c., from Latin maculatus, past participle of maculare "to make spotted, to speckle," from macula "spot, stain" (see macula). Related: Maculated; maculating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

maculate in Medicine


  1. To spot or blemish.
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  1. Spotted or blotched.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.