July 29, 2016
percolate (verb)
\PER-kuh-layt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to trickle or cause to trickle through something porous : filter : seep2 : to prepare coffee in a percolator3 : to be or become spread through : penetrate
How do you use it?
"Had he been asked to state how he felt, he would merely have said that he was having a good time; for he was unaware in his self-consciousness of the potent charm of nature that was percolating through his city-rotted body and brain . . ." (Jack London, _Burning Daylight_)
Are you a word wiz?

Which one of these sentences do you think uses "percolate" correctly?

While Jack London used "percolate" as defined in sense 3, sentence D uses it as defined in sense 1. The other sentences need a word other than "percolate" in order to make sense. The word that fits A is not "percolate" but "perforate," meaning "to make a line of holes to make tearing neat and easy." Sentence B uses "percolate" in place of the noun "peroxide," which is a solution used for treating wounds. And the tales in C are helping "perpetuate," or "cause to last indefinitely," the reputation of the house as being home to ghosts.
Archive RSS Feed