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

  • transitive v. To cause (soil) to form lumps or masses.
  • transitive v. To cause (clouds) to form fluffy masses.
  • intransitive v. To form lumpy or fluffy masses.
  • n. Something that has formed lumpy or fluffy masses.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To collect together in a loose aggregation like flocks (tufts) of wool.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Furnished with tufts of curly hairs, as some insects.
  • intransitive v. To aggregate into small lumps.
  • transitive v. To convert into floccules or flocculent aggregates; to make granular or crumbly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In entomology, bearing a flocculus or small bunch of curled hairs, as the trochanters of certain bees.
  • To form visible loosed light masses, or flocculi, as of clay in soil-water or of nitrogenous substances in milk. The addition of lime or salt causes soil-water to flocculate; ammonia prevents the flocculation or breaks it up. A sheet of uniform stratus cloud often flocculates with numerous cirro-cumulus or alto-cumulus clouds arranged in rank and file.

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

  • v. form into an aggregated lumpy or fluffy mass
  • v. cause to become a fluffy or lumpy aggregate


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin flocculus, diminutive of floccus, a flock (tuft).


  • CONAN: I don't think we've ever used the word flocculate on the program before.

    Assessing The BP Spill's Impact

  • The Word of the Day for January 20, 2009 is: flocculate • \FLAH-kyuh-layt\ • verb

    flocculate | clusterflock

  • During fermentation, yeast cells flocculate and either rise to the top or sink to the bottom of the vat.

    flocculate | clusterflock

  • By the end of the 19th century, a whole word family had been formed, including the adjective “flocculent,” the noun “floccule,” and the verb “flocculate.”

    flocculate | clusterflock

  • And one of their foods is something called marine snow, which is a sort of a flocculate particle, fluffy-like stuff that settles down.

    Assessing The BP Spill's Impact

  • Its amino acids are broken down into long strands, with a positive molecular charge able to flocculate the negatively charged yeast cells and pull them to the bottom of the vessel.


  • If dispersion is the problem the classic solution is to begin leaching with water of sufficiently high salinity to de-flocculate the soil (if such water is available), at the same time providing gypsum for displacement of sodium.

    Chapter 9

  • FLOCCULATION AND AGGREGATION: As a result of the cationic exchange and the increase in the quantity of electrolytes in the pore water, the soil grains flocculate and tend to accrete.

    Chapter 7

  • LIME: When the soil is too clayey, 1 to 2% lime can be added to flocculate the soil.

    Chapter 10

  • This was not crucial at the time as there were alternative sources of water available to the camp of 80,000 people and the fall-back option was to flocculate the river water.

    7. Typical Scenarios


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