[ verb pur-kuh-leyt; noun pur-kuh-lit, -leyt ]
/ verb ˈpɜr kəˌleɪt; noun ˈpɜr kə lɪt, -ˌleɪt /
Save This Word!

verb (used with object), per·co·lat·ed, per·co·lat·ing.

verb (used without object), per·co·lat·ed, per·co·lat·ing.


a percolated liquid.



Set some time apart to test your bracket symbol knowledge, and see if you can keep your parentheses, squares, curlies, and angles all straight!
Question 1 of 7
Let’s start with some etymology: What are the origins of the typographical word “bracket”?

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of percolate

1620–30; <Latin percōlātus, past participle of percōlāre to filter. See per-, colander, -ate1

pronunciation note for percolate

The pronunciation of percolate as [pur-kyuh-leyt], /ˈpɜr kyəˌleɪt/, with an intrusive y -glide, results from analogy with words like circulate and matriculate, where the unstressed vowel following the k -sound is symbolized by a u spelling, making the y -glide mandatory. In similar words where [k] /k/ is followed by some other vowel, the [y] /y/ represents a hypercorrection. The pronunciation of escalate as [es-kyuh-leyt] /ˈɛs kyəˌleɪt/ is another such example. See coupon, new.


per·co·la·ble, adjectiveper·co·la·tive, adjectiveun·per·co·lat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for percolate

British Dictionary definitions for percolate


verb (ˈpɜːkəˌleɪt)

to cause (a liquid) to pass through a fine mesh, porous substance, etc, or (of a liquid) to pass through a fine mesh, porous substance, etc; tricklerain percolated through the roof
to permeate; penetrate graduallywater percolated the road
(intr) US informal to become active or livelyshe percolated with happiness
to make (coffee) or (of coffee) to be made in a percolator

noun (ˈpɜːkəlɪt, -ˌleɪt)

a product of percolation

Derived forms of percolate

percolable (ˈpɜːkələbəl), adjectivepercolation, nounpercolative, adjective

Word Origin for percolate

C17: from Latin percolāre, from per + cōlāre to strain, from cōlum a strainer; see colander
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

Medical definitions for percolate

[ pûrkə-lāt′ ]


To cause a liquid to pass slowly through a porous substance or small holes; filter.
To drain or seep through.
To cause a solvent liquid to pass through a mixture, such as a powdered drug, so as to extract the soluble portion.


A liquid that has been percolated.

Other words from percolate

per′co•lation n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Tired of Typos? Get Help Now!