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

  • noun The act or an instance of inoculating, especially the introduction of an antigenic substance or vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Vaccination against disease, as against smallpox, anthrax, rinderpest, and to some extent against typhoid fever, plague, dysentery, etc.
  • noun The act or practice of grafting by budding.
  • noun Hence The ingrafting of any minute germ in a soil where it will grow; especially, the act or practice of communicating disease by introducing through puncture infectious matter into the tissues; the introduction of a specific animal poison into the tissues by puncture or through contact with a wounded surface; specifically, in medicine, the direct insertion of the virus of smallpox in order, by the production of a mitigated form of it, to prevent a more severe attack of the disease in the natural way.

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

  • noun The act or art of inoculating trees or plants.
  • noun (Med.) The act or practice of communicating a disease to a person in health, by inserting contagious matter in his skin or flesh, usually for the purpose of inducing immunity to the disease.
  • noun Fig.: The communication of principles, especially false principles, to the mind.
  • noun (Microbiology) The introduction of microorganisms into a growth medium, to cause the growth and multiplication of the microorganisms.

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

  • noun immunology The introduction of an antigenic substance or vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease.
  • noun microbiology The introduction of a microorganism into a culture medium.
  • noun An inoculum, what is inoculated

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

  • noun taking a vaccine as a precaution against contracting a disease


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • In my part of London, we have live smallpox measles and TB scares on a regular basis, because so many parents have been convinced that inoculation is bad for kids that they won't get them their jabs.

    Boing Boing 2009

  • In her poem, inoculation is performed by Oberon who gathers all kinds of magical ingredients to ease her daughter Marias recovery.

    Editorial Notes to 'Letter to the Women of England' 2007

  • At the same time an inoculation from the charge of “these extremist GOP crazies” may help prevent a total GOP bleed out for 2006.

    Think Progress » Cato Institute slams Miers: 2005

  • This type of intervention is called inoculation because it may be analogous to the process whereby antibodies are induced in response to injections of mildly virulant toxins.

    Handbook of Stress Leo Goldberger 1993

  • When however the same inoculation is carried out on a rabbit or a guinea-pig that has been previously vaccinated against anthrax, a very different picture results.

    Ilya Mechnikov - Nobel Lecture 1967

  • We will see that the serum for inoculation comes from the right part; and not until every microbe of German kultur is eradicated from his blood will we touch, handle, or have any dealings with the Hun.

    The British Navy 1918

  • The act of supplying the young plants with these is called inoculation, and may be done in the following ways:

    From Captivity to Fame or The Life of George Washington Carver Raleigh Howard Merritt 1929

  • But that the reader may be able to judge whether the English or those who differ from them in opinion are in the right, here follows the history of the famed inoculation, which is mentioned with so much dread in France.

    Letters on England 1694-1778 Voltaire 1736

  • Turks in Constantinople and Smyrna succeeded in inoculating patients against smallpox, he led a public campaign to do the same in Boston (a campaign for which he was much vilified by those who called inoculation the "work of the Devil," merely because of its Islamic origin).

    Boston Globe -- Ideas section Ted Widmer 2010

  • John McCain has said he'll be taking a tougher line against Barack Obama and his associates, and reporter Scott Shane's front-page piece in Saturday's New York Times on the "sporadic" ties between Obama and William Ayers, a founder of the 1960s domestic terrorist group Weather Underground, serves as a 2,100-word inoculation, a long investigative piece that does little in the way of actual investigating, providing the appearance of due diligence while exonerating Obama.

    Illuminati Conspiracy Archive Blog 2008


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  • "CHARLES county, MARYLAND, June 15.

    The subscribers have fitted out, and provided with every necessary, a commodious house for the purpose of INOCULATION, where they are ready to receive such as incline to take the smallpox, at the rate of 5l. £ or pounds Maryland currency each. The distance of the house being little more than five miles from any part of Potowmack river, between the lower end of Fairfax and the upper end of Westmoreland counties, in Virginia, will render it very convenient for the inhabitants of the included counties. Those who will favour the subscribers with their company may depend on their utmost care and attention.

    G.R. Brown.

    James Wallace.

    ***Such as prefer coming by water may do it very conveniently, as the house stands on Burdett's creek, only four miles from its mouth."

    Virginia Gazette (Purdie), June 28, 1776

    January 27, 2009

  • "In India the Uzbek polymath al-Biruni (973-1048) witnessed the use of cloves against smallpox, which the Indians took for an airborne malaise from the land of Lanka across the sea:

    "'The Hindus who are the neighbors of those regions believe that the small-pox is a wind blowing from the island of Lanka toward the continent to carry off souls. According to one report, some men warn people beforehand of the blowing of this wind, and can exactly tell at what times it will reach the different parts of the country. After the small-pox has broken out, they recognize from certain signs whether it is virulent or not. Against the virulent small-pox they use a method of treatment by which they destroy only one single limb of the body, but do not kill. They use as medicine cloves, which they give to the patient to drink, together with gold-dust; and, besides, the males tie the cloves, which are similar to date-kernels, to their necks. If these precautions are taken, perhaps nine people out of ten will be proof against this malady.'

    "Apart from what looks like a garbled account of inoculation--generally credited to China, around 1200 A.D., but not used in the West before the early eighteenth century--his account is a fairly representative diagnosis: an airborne illness called for an aromatic prescription."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 176-177

    December 3, 2016