verb (used with object), in·oc·u·lat·ed, in·oc·u·lat·ing.
verb (used without object), in·oc·u·lat·ed, in·oc·u·lat·ing.
Origin of inoculate
Synonyms for inoculate
Word Origin for inoculate
mid-15c., "implant a bud into a plant," from Latin inoculatus, past participle of inoculare "graft in, implant," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + oculus "bud," originally "eye" (see eye (n.)). Meaning "implant germs of a disease to produce immunity" first recorded (in inoculation) 1714, originally in reference to smallpox. After 1799, often used in sense of "to vaccine inoculate." Related: Inoculated; inoculating.