Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having a fluffy or woolly appearance.
  • adjective Chemistry Containing or made up of small particles that have been aggregated together.
  • adjective Zoology Having a soft, waxy, and woollike covering, as certain insects.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Like a flock of wool; fleecy; woolly.
  • Specifically Coalescing and adhering in locks or flocks.
  • In ornithology, like or pertaining to the floccus. See floccus, 2 . Also floccose.
  • In entomology, covered, as an insect, or any part of it, with a soft, waxy substance, generally white in color and adhering in irregular flakes or strings, often of considerable length, as in many Homoptera.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Clothed with small flocks or flakes; woolly.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) Applied to the down of newly hatched or unfledged birds.
  • adjective (Chem.) Having a structure like shredded wool, as some precipitates.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Flocculated, resembling bits of wool, woolly.
  • adjective Covered in a woolly substance; downy.
  • adjective Flaky.
  • noun astronomy diminutive of flocculent spiral galaxy

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

  • adjective having a fluffy character or appearance

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin floccus ‘flock of wool’.

Examples

  • NGC 3521, which is 35 million light-years away in the constellation Leo, is called a flocculent spiral galaxy because of the patchy, woolly look of its spiral arms.

    msnbc.com: Top msnbc.com headlines

  • Not in individual stars. produce a multi-armed and patchy spiral structure known as a flocculent spiral.

    Spirals, Tides, and M51 | Universe Today

  • Before noon clouds surrounded the whole mountain, not in the vague flocculent, meaningless masses one usually sees, but in

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • Before noon clouds surrounded the whole mountain, not in the vague flocculent, meaningless masses one usually sees, but in Arctic oceans, where lofty icebergs, floes and pack, lay piled on each other, glistening with the frost of a Polar winter; then alps on alps, and peaks of well remembered ranges gleaming above glaciers, and the semblance of forests in deep ravines loaded with new fallen snow.

    The Hawaiian Archipelago

  • 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

  • His chosen method of DNA transfer began with the purification of DNA from cancer cells, grams of it precipitated out of cell extracts in a dense, flocculent suspension, like curdled milk.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • His chosen method of DNA transfer began with the purification of DNA from cancer cells, grams of it precipitated out of cell extracts in a dense, flocculent suspension, like curdled milk.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • His chosen method of DNA transfer began with the purification of DNA from cancer cells, grams of it precipitated out of cell extracts in a dense, flocculent suspension, like curdled milk.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • As I smoothed their curly, flocculent fur and received their wet kisses and gazed into their soulful, gentle eyes, I wept.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog

  • As I smoothed their curly, flocculent fur and received their wet kisses and gazed into their soulful, gentle eyes, I wept.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog

Comments

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  • This word sounds far more disgusting than its meaning. Nice find.

    February 21, 2007

  • Yes it does. I think it's going on my "Worse Than They Sound" list.

    February 21, 2007

  • A brilliant word.

    July 6, 2008

  • Yeast flocculates, which I suppose means at some point it's flocculent.

    July 7, 2008

  • Volo flocculatrix.

    October 10, 2008

  • "Tully, northern Queensland, Australia. The sugar mill belches smoke as thick and flocculent as candyfloss."

    Psychogeography by Will Self, 194

    October 17, 2010