Definition of inoculate in English:


See synonyms for inoculate

Translate inoculate into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Immunize (someone) against a disease by introducing infective material, microorganisms, or vaccine into the body.

    ‘most of the troops had been inoculated against anthrax’
    • ‘the country will have enough vaccine stockpiled to inoculate the entire population’
    • ‘students are inoculated against … the notion … that history can be turned in its course by … individuals’
    • ‘Troops were inoculated against expected infectious diseases as well as two agents of biological warfare - anthrax and botulinum toxin.’
    • ‘Army doctors have started inoculating villagers against disease.’
    • ‘I'll rest easier knowing I'm inoculated against eradicated diseases like Smallpox.’
    • ‘The threat of terrorists waging biological warfare on Britain was starkly underlined last night when the Government announced that it was acquiring enough smallpox vaccine to inoculate the entire population.’
    • ‘Enough vaccine to inoculate everyone in the country against a pandemic strain of flu will be manufactured after the deadly virus breaks out, the Government pledged yesterday.’
    • ‘And he's told me how children would come in and they would inoculate them against diseases, but he knew there had to be something else.’
    • ‘When monkeys were inoculated with the vaccines, the primates' immune systems mounted a response against either the Ebola or Marburg virus.’
    • ‘After an increase in the number of personnel contracting Hepatitis B, a request was made for all members to be inoculated against the disease.’
    • ‘Among the older children, 19 had been inoculated with measles vaccine.’
    • ‘In Milwaukee, the health department says it doesn't have enough vaccine available to inoculate the city's homebound elderly population, for which the flu is particularly dangerous.’
    • ‘He states that anthrax vaccine is not being produced, but the Pentagon has embarked on a massive effort to produce this vaccine and to inoculate all US troops on active duty.’
    • ‘In the event of a smallpox outbreak, the federal government is prepared with enough vaccine to inoculate everyone who would need it.’
    • ‘If we want to prevent someone from catching a serious disease, we inoculate them.’
    • ‘The children, who are mainly toddlers, could pick up infections and may not after all be inoculated against the childhood diseases, it has emerged.’
    • ‘Fifty years from now the doctors will be inoculating for every conceivable disease.’
    • ‘In desperation, soldiers and citizens took to secretly inoculating themselves for protection.’
    • ‘When we get enough vaccine, a decision will be made whether or not we all ought to be inoculated simply as protection against an extraordinarily unlikely event.’
    • ‘Vaccination programmes are being carried out in schools to inoculate children who have not been taken to their doctor for the injection.’
    • ‘The United Nations said it planned to start immunisation campaigns which would focus on inoculating children under the age of five against measles and meningitis, and women of childbearing age against tetanus.’
    • ‘Oftentimes, though, the person being inoculated would contract the disease and suffer its consequences.’
    immunize, vaccinate, jab, give someone a shot, inject
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Introduce (an infective agent) into an organism.
      ‘the microorganism can be inoculated into laboratory animals’
      • ‘In lymphatic filariasis, infective larvae are inoculated by mosquitoes; adult worms are found in lymph nodes or adjacent lymphatics, and offspring circulate in the blood, often only at night.’
      • ‘Given their effects on soybean plants, it is hypothesized that the PGPR strains exert their influence via the production of specific compounds after they have been inoculated into plant rhizospheres.’
      • ‘Organisms obtained from these animals, when inoculated into uninfected animals, proved to be unresponsive to atovaquone therapy, suggesting the emergence of drug resistance.’
      • ‘When inoculated into humans, the weakened bacteria should induce an immune response but not cause disease.’
      • ‘Half of them were randomly chosen to be inoculated with C. campestris (infected group), leaving the rest uninfected (control group).’
    2. 1.2Introduce (cells or organisms) into a culture medium.
      ‘0.5 ml of the specimen was inoculated into each tissue culture flask’
      • ‘For initial qualitative screening of elevated mutation frequencies in isolates, a single colony of each isolate to be tested was inoculated into 4 ml Luria broth.’
      • ‘A purified colony was inoculated into 5 ml of broth and grown overnight before plating dilutions onto LB plates supplemented with 50 g/ml thymidine.’
      • ‘White colonies were inoculated into 96-well plates.’
      • ‘For UV exposure, single colonies were inoculated into SC-LEU at 25° for 17 hr.’
      • ‘Test strains were inoculated into heart infusion broth and incubated overnight at 37 deg C.’



/əˈnäkyəˌlāt/ /əˈnɑkjəˌleɪt/


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘graft a bud or shoot into a different plant’): from Latin inoculat- ‘engrafted’, from the verb inoculare, from in- ‘into’ + oculus ‘eye, bud’. The sense ‘vaccinate’ dates from the early 18th century.