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Word of the Day
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Definitions for pullulate

  1. to breed, produce, or create rapidly.
  2. to send forth sprouts, buds, etc.; germinate; sprout.
  3. to increase rapidly; multiply.

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Citations for pullulate
Abundant foodstuffs, a benign climate, lack of natural enemies, high reproductive rate, minimal shooting pressure, and adequate habitat had all combined to allow the birds to pullulate wildly out of control--in fact to reach pestilential proportions. Stuart Williams, "Andean Doves Come High," Field & Stream, July 1972
It is evident, for anyone with eyes to see, that for half a century, animals and people alike have tended to multiply, to proliferate, to pullulate in a truly disquieting proportion. Eugene Mouton, "The End of the World," 1872
Origin of pullulate
The English verb pullulate derives from the Latin verb pullulāre “to sprout, put forth shoots, bring forth,” a derivative of the noun pullus “young animal, foal.” The Latin words derive from the Proto-Indo-European root pau-, pōu-, pū- (with various suffixes) “little, small, few.” The suffixed forms pau-o- and pau-ko form Germanic (English) few and Latin paucus “small, slight,” respectively (the Latin adjective is also the source of Spanish and Italian poco). The suffixed form pō-los yields Greek pôlos “foal, young girl, young boy,” and Germanic (English) foal. The suffixed form pu-er- forms Latin puer “boy” and puella “girl” (from assumed puerla). Pullulate entered English in the early 17th century.