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

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.

Origin of percolate

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


per·co·la·ble, adjectiveper·co·la·tive, adjectiveun·per·co·lat·ed, adjective

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples 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.