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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English inoculate, from Latin inoculātus, perfect passive participle of inoculō (ingraft an eye or bud of one plant into (another), implant), from in (in) + oculus (an eye).




inoculate (third-person singular simple present inoculates, present participle inoculating, simple past and past participle inoculated)

  1. (transitive, immunology) To introduce an antigenic substance or vaccine into something (e.g. the body) or someone, such as to produce immunity to a specific disease. [from c. 1722]
    Synonyms: immunize, vaccinate, (archaic) vaccine
    • 1722, John Crawford, The Case of Inoculating the Small-pox Consider'd: And Its Advantages Asserted; in a Review of Dr. Wagstaffe's Letter. Wherein Every Thing that Author Has Advanced Against It, is Fully Confuted: and Inoculation Proved a Safe, Beneficial, and Laudable Practice.:
      But you would not willingly thus give up the Cause; therefore endeavour to draw others into your Assistance, and venture to assert, that by the Account Dr. Nettleton gives, as also by the best Observation upon those who have been Inoculated in this City, scarcely a fourth part of them have had a true and genuine Small Pox.
    • 2004 October 29, Marco R. Della Cava, “Vaccine shortage pricks tempers”, in Statesman Journal, volume 152, number 214, Salem, OR, page 2A:
      The sense that it takes outrageous fortune to get inoculated echoes here in the Bay Area, where pharmacies have canceled flu-shot clinics, doctors turn away pleading patients and health officials are reduced to telling panicked callers that they should practice good personal hygiene.
  2. (transitive, by extension) To safeguard or protect something as if by inoculation.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. To add one substance to another.
    Synonym: spike
    The culture medium was inoculated with selenium to investigate the rate of uptake.
  4. To graft by inserting buds. [from c. 1420]
    to inoculate the bud of one tree or plant into another
    to inoculate a tree
    • c. 1420, anonymous author, edited by Barton Lodge, On husbondrie[1], Published for the Early English Text Society, by N. Trübner & Co., translation of original by Rutilius Taurus Aemilianus Palladius, published 1872:
      And in Aprill figtreen inoculate
  5. (figurative) To introduce into the mind (used especially of harmful ideas or principles). [from a. 1600]
    Synonyms: imbue, implant
    to inoculate someone with treason or infidelity

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]


inoculate (plural inoculates)

  1. Synonym of inoculum

Further reading[edit]



Etymology 1[edit]



  1. inflection of inoculare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Etymology 2[edit]


inoculate f pl

  1. feminine plural of inoculato





  1. second-person plural present active imperative of inoculō




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of inocular combined with te