verb (used with or without object), mas·ti·cat·ed, mas·ti·cat·ing.

to chew.
to reduce to a pulp by crushing or kneading, as rubber.

Origin of masticate

1640–50; < Late Latin masticātus, past participle of masticāre to chew. See mastic, -ate1
Related formsmas·ti·ca·ble [mas-ti-kuh-buh l] /ˈmæs tɪ kə bəl/, adjectivemas·ti·ca·tion, nounmas·ti·ca·tor, nounhalf-mas·ti·cat·ed, adjectivere·mas·ti·cate, verb, re·mas·ti·cat·ed, re·mas·ti·cat··mas·ti·ca·tion, nounun·mas·ti·cat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for masticate

crunch, gnash, knead, chomp, grind, crush

Examples from the Web for masticate

Historical Examples of masticate

  • George, continuing to masticate his bread, says it has nothing to do with him.

    An Outcast

    F. Colburn Adams

  • She was trying to masticate these when there came a tap at the door.

    The Toilers of the Field

    Richard Jefferies

  • They then roll the leaf up, and masticate it for hours together.

    Old Jack

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • And he took her teeth out of her mouth so that she should not masticate food.

  • If she should masticate food her own poison would destroy her life.

British Dictionary definitions for masticate



to chew (food)
to reduce (materials such as rubber) to a pulp by crushing, grinding, or kneading
Derived Formsmasticable, adjectivemastication, nounmasticator, noun

Word Origin for masticate

C17: from Late Latin masticāre, from Greek mastikhan to grind the teeth
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 masticate

1640s, back-formation from mastication, or else from Late Latin masticatus, past participle of masticare "to chew." Related: Masticated; masticating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

masticate in Medicine




To chew food.
Related formsmas′ti•cation n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.