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

  • transitive v. To cause (liquid, for example) to pass through a porous substance or small holes; filter.
  • transitive v. To pass or ooze through: Water percolated the sand.
  • transitive v. To make (coffee) in a percolator.
  • intransitive v. To drain or seep through a porous material or filter.
  • intransitive v. Informal To become lively or active.
  • intransitive v. Informal To spread slowly or gradually.
  • n. A liquid that has been percolated.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To pass a liquid through a porous substance; to filter.
  • v. To drain or seep through a porous substance.
  • v. To make (coffee) in a percolator.
  • v. (figuratively) To spread slowly or gradually; to slowly become noticed or realised.
  • n. A liquid that has been percolated.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To cause to pass through fine interstices, as a liquor; to filter; to strain.
  • intransitive v. To pass through fine interstices; to filter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strain through; cause to pass through small interstices, as a liquor; filter: literally and figuratively.
  • To pass through small interstices, as a liquor; filter: as, water percolates through a porous stone.
  • n. That which has percolated or passed through a filter or strainer; a filtered liquid.

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

  • v. prepare in a percolator
  • v. pass through
  • v. permeate or penetrate gradually
  • n. the product of percolation
  • v. gain or regain energy
  • v. spread gradually
  • v. cause (a solvent) to pass through a permeable substance in order to extract a soluble constituent


Latin percōlāre, percōlāt- : per-, per- + cōlāre, to filter (from cōlum, sieve).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin percōlāre ("to filter"), itself, from per- ("through") + colare ("to strain") (from colum ("a strainer"), of unknown origin). (Wiktionary)


  • I'm still processing this 'call to arms' and personally think it needs to percolate from the bottom up not the Government down.

    December 2008

  • After I let the idea percolate for a time, I decided against pursuing that course for something with much less pressure.

    It Begins!

  • Cherry let the idea percolate with ABC executives because he knew it was a "pretty risky proposition."

  • So, we'll wait for things to kind of percolate, you know, the sun goes to work in Atlanta out ahead of the system and things do get -- start to get a little bit turbulent with that strong, well, now March, almost end of March sunshine and, boy, spring just a couple days away.

    CNN Transcript Mar 18, 2008

  • I let the idea percolate for awhile and then decided I must go…not in the sense of being a “groupy”, but rather in the sense of honoring the deep heart connection with Madeleine’s writing of which I wrote in my initial response.

    Madeleine L’Engle’s Memorial Service « educating alice

  • At very high fields, the filaments formed an interconnected network across which charges could travel, or 'percolate'. - latest science and technology news stories

  • "percolate" and keep going up and down in the organization.

    ClickZ News Blog

  • Like the highly discredited theory of "trickle-down" economics, there is a belief that this "eco-leadership" will somehow percolate into our collective consciousness and create demand for environmental goods and services at all levels of the economy.

    Hypocrisy of champagne environmentalists is deceitful and distracting | Ed Gillespie

  • Senior leadership is still important: There need to be forward-thinking leaders who "allow for the culture of ideas to percolate up," says Dr. Robinson.

    Allowing Innovation to Bubble Up

  • I like finishing stories that percolate and percolate and finally go, and then other people like them too.

    Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway


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  • For me, this is all about the process ideas take to mature. Complete with sound effects.

    April 24, 2010