verb (used with object), in·oc·u·lat·ed, in·oc·u·lat·ing.
- to implant (a disease agent or antigen) in a person, animal, or plant to produce a disease for study or to stimulate disease resistance.
- to affect or treat (a person, animal, or plant) in this manner.
- to introduce (microorganisms) into surroundings suited to their growth, as a culture medium.
- to imbue (a person), as with ideas.
- Metallurgy. to treat (molten metal) chemically to strengthen the microstructure.
verb (used without object), in·oc·u·lat·ed, in·oc·u·lat·ing.
- to perform inoculation.
- to introduce (the causative agent of a disease) into the body of (a person or animal), in order to induce immunity
- (tr) to introduce (microorganisms, esp bacteria) into (a culture medium)
- (tr) to cause to be influenced or imbued, as with ideas or opinions
v.mid-15c., “implant a bud into a plant,” from Latin inoculatus, past participle of inoculare “graft in, implant,” from in- “in” (see in- (2)) + oculus “bud,” originally “eye” (see eye (n.)). Meaning “implant germs of a disease to produce immunity” first recorded (in inoculation) 1714, originally in reference to smallpox. After 1799, often used in sense of “to vaccine inoculate.” Related: Inoculated; inoculating. v.
- To introduce a serum, a vaccine, or an antigenic substance into the body of a person or an animal, especially as a means to produce or boost immunity to a specific disease.
- To implant microorganisms or infectious material into or on a culture medium.
- To communicate a disease to a living organism by transferring its causative agent into the organism.