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[adj. noo-klee-it, -eyt, nyoo-; v. noo-klee-eyt, nyoo-] /adj. ˈnu kli ɪt, -ˌeɪt, ˈnyu-; v. ˈnu kliˌeɪt, ˈnyu-/
having a nucleus.
verb (used with object), nucleated, nucleating.
to form (something) into a nucleus.
verb (used without object), nucleated, nucleating.
to form a nucleus.
1860-65; < Latin nucleātus having a kernel or stone. See nucleus, -ate1
Related forms
[noo-klee-ey-shuh n, nyoo-] /ˌnu kliˈeɪ ʃən, ˌnyu-/ (Show IPA),
nucleator, noun
multinucleate, adjective
unnucleated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nucleation
  • Suspended particles or minute bubbles also provide nucleation sites.
  • More often nucleation occurs on the heating surface, at nucleation sites.
  • nucleation is a key concept in polymer, alloy, and ceramic systems.
  • This trimer then adds additional molecules and forms a nucleation site.
British Dictionary definitions for nucleation


adjective (ˈnjuːklɪɪt; -ˌeɪt)
having a nucleus
verb (intransitive) (ˈnjuːklɪˌeɪt)
to form a nucleus
Derived Forms
nucleation, noun
nucleator, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nucleation

1861, noun of action from nucleate (v.), from Latin nucleatus, past participle of nucleare, from nucleus (see nucleus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nucleation in Medicine

nucleation nu·cle·a·tion (nōō'klē-ā'shən, nyōō'-)

  1. The beginning of chemical or physical changes at discrete points in a system, such as the formation of crystals in a liquid.

  2. The formation of cell nuclei.

nucleate nu·cle·ate (nōō'klē-āt', -ĭt, nyōō'-)
Nucleated. v. nu·cle·at·ed, nu·cle·at·ing, nu·cle·ates (-āt')

  1. To form into a nucleus.

  2. To serve or act as a nucleus for.

  3. To provide a nucleus for.

A salt of a nucleic acid.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for nucleation

the initial process that occurs in the formation of a crystal from a solution, a liquid, or a vapour, in which a small number of ions, atoms, or molecules become arranged in a pattern characteristic of a crystalline solid, forming a site upon which additional particles are deposited as the crystal grows.

Learn more about nucleation with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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