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

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

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

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.