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Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[v. pur-kuh-leyt; n. pur-kuh-lit, -leyt] /v. ˈpɜr kəˌleɪt; n. ˈpɜr kə lɪt, -ˌleɪt/
verb (used with object), percolated, percolating.
to cause (a liquid) to pass through a porous body; filter.
(of a liquid) to filter through; permeate.
to brew (coffee) in a percolator.
verb (used without object), percolated, percolating.
to pass through a porous substance; filter; ooze; seep; trickle.
to become percolated:
The coffee is starting to percolate.
to become active, lively, or spirited.
to show activity, movement, or life; grow or spread gradually; germinate:
Interest in the idea has begun to percolate.
a percolated liquid.
Origin of percolate
1620-30; < Latin percōlātus, past participle of percōlāre to filter. See per-, colander, -ate1
Related forms
percolable, adjective
percolative, adjective
unpercolated, adjective
Pronunciation note
The pronunciation of percolate as
[pur-kyuh-leyt] /ˈpɜr kyəˌleɪt/ (Show IPA)
with an intrusive y -glide, results from analogy with words like circulate and matriculate, where the unstressed vowel following the k -sound is symbolized by a u spelling, making the y -glide mandatory. In similar words where
[k] /k/
is followed by some other vowel, the [y] /y/ represents a hypercorrection. The pronunciation of escalate as [es-kyuh-leyt] /ˈɛs kyəˌleɪt/ is another such example. See coupon, new. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for percolate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The capacity of oil, and especially of hot oil, to percolate through the most minute pores is well known.

    Steam Turbines Hubert E. Collins
  • Miss Burton paused to allow the idea to percolate into my brain.

    My Actor-Husband Anonymous
  • Then there is the other extreme of compact clay, through which water seems scarcely to percolate at all.

    Farm drainage Henry Flagg French
  • Even so, a great light was beginning to percolate to my innermost consciousness.

    One Third Off Irvin S. Cobb
  • The purpose of the pear-shaped apertures was to enable the salt fumes to percolate freely around the vessels being fired.

  • That's only seventy-five miles, and news does percolate, give it time.

    Judith of Blue Lake Ranch Jackson Gregory
  • And it has to block up the valley so effectually that the water of the lake shall not percolate through at any point.

    The Panama Canal J. Saxon Mills
British Dictionary definitions for percolate


verb (ˈpɜːkəˌleɪt)
to cause (a liquid) to pass through a fine mesh, porous substance, etc, or (of a liquid) to pass through a fine mesh, porous substance, etc; trickle: rain percolated through the roof
to permeate; penetrate gradually: water percolated the road
(intransitive) (US, informal) to become active or lively: she percolated with happiness
to make (coffee) or (of coffee) to be made in a percolator
noun (ˈpɜːkəlɪt; -ˌleɪt)
a product of percolation
Derived Forms
percolable (ˈpɜːkələbəl) adjective
percolation, noun
percolative, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin percolāre, from per + cōlāre to strain, from cōlum a strainer; see colander
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 percolate

1620s, a back-formation from percolation, or else from Latin percolatus, past participle of percolare "to strain through." Figurative sense by 1670s. Related: Percolated; percolating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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percolate in Medicine

percolate per·co·late (pûr'kə-lāt')
v. per·co·lat·ed, per·co·lat·ing, per·co·lates

  1. To cause a liquid to pass slowly through a porous substance or small holes; filter.

  2. To drain or seep through.

  3. To cause a solvent liquid to pass through a mixture, such as a powdered drug, so as to extract the soluble portion.

n. (-lĭt, -lāt')
A liquid that has been percolated.
per'co·la'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for percolate



  1. To run smoothly and well: The little engine was percolating nicely (1925+)
  2. To saunter; stroll; ooze: Percolate on down the Avenue (1942+ Black)

[all senses fr the coffee-making device; sense of ''run well,'' for example, fr the steady cheery bubbling of the coffeemaker]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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