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verb (used with or without object), mas·ti·cat·ed, mas·ti·cat·ing.
  1. to chew.
  2. to reduce to a pulp by crushing or kneading, as rubber.
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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·ing.re·mas·ti·ca·tion, nounun·mas·ti·cat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mastication

bite, deglutition, Fletcherism

Examples from the Web for mastication

Contemporary Examples of mastication

Historical Examples of mastication

British Dictionary definitions for mastication


  1. to chew (food)
  2. to reduce (materials such as rubber) to a pulp by crushing, grinding, or kneading
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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 mastication


early 15c., from Old French masticacion and directly from Latin masticationem (nominative masticatio), noun of action from masticare "to chew" (source of Old French maschier, French mâcher), probably from a Greek source related to mastikhan "to gnash the teeth," from PIE *mendh- "to chew" (see mandible).

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mastication in Medicine


  1. To chew food.
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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.