View synonyms for vaccinate


[ vak-suh-neyt ]

verb (used with object)

, vac·ci·nat·ed, vac·ci·nat·ing.
  1. to inoculate with the vaccine of cowpox so as to render the subject immune to smallpox.
  2. to inoculate with the modified virus of any of various other diseases, as a preventive measure.

verb (used without object)

, vac·ci·nat·ed, vac·ci·nat·ing.
  1. to perform or practice vaccination.


/ ˈvæksɪˌneɪt /


  1. to inoculate (a person) with a vaccine so as to produce immunity against a specific disease

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Derived Forms

  • ˈvacciˌnator, noun

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Other Words From

  • pre·vacci·nate verb (used with object) prevaccinated prevaccinating
  • re·vacci·nate verb (used with object) revaccinated revaccinating
  • un·vacci·nated adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of vaccinate1

First recorded in 1800–10; back formation from vaccination

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Example Sentences

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Thursday the county expects to begin vaccinating teachers, police and other essential workers in the next few weeks following calls to prioritize educators and law enforcement.

Chicago, meanwhile, recently announced a program aimed at vaccinating people in high-need neighborhoods.

Yet they also appear to be getting vaccinated at very low rates.

People are also being vaccinated where they worship in North Carolina, Connecticut and Michigan.

As more vaccine is developed, other groups will be vaccinated.

From a pediatric ICU in Melbourne, Australia, to an elevator in Brooklyn, we see just how harmful refusing to vaccinate can be.

One look at those numbers is all it takes to realize how absurd the decision not to vaccinate is.

The parents who refused to vaccinate their kids are the reason behind the measles resurrecting themselves in New York.

Refusing to vaccinate your children means you are contributing to a worsening public health crisis.

And then this: I always ask if the children are vaccinated, or if the parents intend to vaccinate once the child is born.

If small-pox be prevailing, it is proper to vaccinate all who have not been vaccinated within three or four years.

There was a panic at that time about small-pox, and the doctor came one day to vaccinate everybody in the house.

He apparently had been lying in wait for us, and he begged me to come to his house and vaccinate his infant son.

Lymph was taken with them so that his wife could vaccinate him if it should become necessary.

Purple had engaged to vaccinate a child on a certain day, but for some reason the vaccination was not done.


Related Words

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Vaccinate Vs. Inoculate Vs. Immunize

What’s the difference between vaccinate, inoculate, and immunize?

In the context of medicine, vaccinate, inoculate, and immunize are often used in overlapping ways, and for good reason—they all involve introducing a substance (especially a vaccine) into a person’s body with the goal of preventing them from getting a particular disease.

Vaccinate is the most specific of the three terms, because it always involves introducing a vaccine, which usually consists of a small amount of a killed, weakened, or otherwise modified version of a disease (such as a virus or bacterium). While inoculate has other meanings outside the context of medicine, in modern healthcare it’s typically used interchangeably with vaccinate (though it’s used less commonly).

Immunize is slightly different—it means to provide immunity from a specific disease. While the goal of vaccinating someone is often to immunize them, not all vaccines provide permanent immunity. Some vaccines provide what amounts to long-term immunity, while others only lead to a temporary protection, after which the body “forgets” how to make certain antibodies. In these cases, a booster shot or dose is often required, consisting of a follow-up vaccination to boost or renew the protection gained from the earlier vaccination.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between vaccinate, inoculate, and immunize.

Quiz yourself on vaccinate vs. inoculate vs. immunize!

True or False?

Vaccinate, inoculate, and immunize can be correctly used in some overlapping ways.