Definitions

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

  • transitive verb 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 verb To communicate a disease to (a living organism) by transferring its causative agent into the organism.
  • transitive verb To implant microorganisms or infectious material into (a culture medium).
  • transitive verb To safeguard as if by inoculation; protect.
  • transitive verb To introduce an idea or attitude into the mind of.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

  • transitive verb To bud; to insert, or graft, as the bud of a tree or plant in another tree or plant.
  • transitive verb To insert a foreign bud into.
  • transitive verb (Med.) 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 verb Fig.: To introduce into the mind; -- used especially of harmful ideas or principles; to imbue.
  • transitive verb (Microbiology) To introduce microorganisms into (a growth medium), to cause the growth and multiplication of the microorganisms.
  • intransitive verb To graft by inserting buds.
  • intransitive verb To communicate disease by inoculation.

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

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English inoculaten, to graft a scion, from Latin inoculāre, inoculāt- : in-, in; see in– + oculus, eye, bud; see okw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

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

  • "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."

    Archive 2003-06-01

  • 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

Comments

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  • Italian for inoculated (fem. pl.)

    July 9, 2008

  • 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