Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To introduce a serum, vaccine, or antigenic substance into (the body of a person or animal), especially to produce or boost immunity to a specific disease.
  • transitive v. To communicate a disease to (a living organism) by transferring its causative agent into the organism.
  • transitive v. To implant microorganisms or infectious material into (a culture medium).
  • transitive v. To safeguard as if by inoculation; protect.
  • transitive v. To introduce an idea or attitude into the mind of.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To introduce an antigenic substance or vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease.
  • v. To safeguard or protect something as if by inoculation.
  • v. To add one substance to another. To spike
  • v. To graft by inserting buds.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To graft by inserting buds.
  • intransitive v. To communicate disease by inoculation.
  • transitive v. To bud; to insert, or graft, as the bud of a tree or plant in another tree or plant.
  • transitive v. To insert a foreign bud into.
  • transitive v. To communicate a disease to (a person) by inserting infectious matter in the skin or flesh, especially as a means of inducing immunological resistance to that or related diseases; See Vaccinate.
  • transitive v. Fig.: To introduce into the mind; -- used especially of harmful ideas or principles; to imbue.
  • transitive v. To introduce microorganisms into (a growth medium), to cause the growth and multiplication of the microorganisms.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To graft by budding; insert a bud or germ in, as a tree or plant, for propagation.
  • Hence To introduce a foreign germ or element into; specifically, to impregnate with disease by the insertion of virus; treat by inoculation for the purpose of protecting from a more malignant form of the disease: as, to inoculate a person for the smallpox: often used figuratively.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. introduce a microorganism into
  • v. perform vaccinations or produce immunity in by inoculation
  • v. impregnate with the virus or germ of a disease in order to render immune
  • v. insert a bud for propagation
  • v. introduce an idea or attitude into the mind of

Etymologies

Middle English inoculaten, to graft a scion, from Latin inoculāre, inoculāt- : in-, in, + oculus, eye, bud;.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "As long as the amount you inoculate is small, the spread to other organs is minimal, and the risk of systemic toxicity is almost zero."

    Medpundit

  • Given the widespread use of medical metaphors in discussing anti-Semitism, Schary probably meant to use the word "inoculate" rather than "insulate."

    Caught in the Crossfire: Adrian Scott and the Politics of Americanism in 1940s Hollywood

  • And remember, one meaning of the word "inoculate" is "to give them eyes".

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • If anything, Mr. Greene says, biofuels producers -- particularly those that specialize in making fuels that don't come from corn -- stand to benefit from new regulations, because such standards will "inoculate" the industry against the kinds of criticisms that have buffeted food-based biofuel crops.

    If a Tree Falls in the Forest, Are Biofuels To Blame? It's Not Easy Being Green

  • It is far too early to tell whether attacking Bush as commander in chief is brilliant or not -- or indeed, whether it's just an attempt to "inoculate" Kerry on the issue of militant patriotism before turning in the fall to wooing female swing voters, one kitchen-table domestic issue at a time.

    HAIL TO THE CHIEF

  • Is he trying to put some distance between the administration and himself in order to kind of inoculate himself for that stance?

    CNN Transcript Feb 23, 2007

  • From the beginning we can see that Berlin Childhood is going to be a very personal work for Benjamin--it arises not out of some abstract idea, but rather a personal need--the need to protect or "inoculate" himself against the awful homesickness of the exile.

    A stroll through Walter Benjamin's Berlin - Part 1 (Introduction)

  • It is only through these images that a vanished Berlin can be conjured up once again, and it is with these images that Benjamin will seek to "inoculate" himself.

    A stroll through Walter Benjamin's Berlin - Part 1 (Introduction)

  • So, when you first plant a particular leguminous tree on your farm, you should "inoculate" the seeds before planting.

    Chapter 7

  • Once its flow is commenced, it slowly, but surely, invades the sensitive structures near it, appearing, as Elaine has put it, to 'inoculate' them.

    Diseases of the Horse's Foot

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  • The desired mushroom must be able to colonise the substrate before other fungi or bacteria do so. To achieve this, pre-grown mycelium (free of any contaminants) of the mushroom is inoculated on a sterile substrate.

    January 24, 2011

  • Italian for inoculated (fem. pl.)

    July 9, 2008