Definition of masticate in English:



[with object]
  • Chew (food)

    ‘dentition affects how well food is masticated and absorbed’
    no object ‘try to masticate slowly’
    • ‘They do not have the molars that humans use for masticating their food and it is impossible for them to keep their mouths shut while chewing.’
    • ‘Perhaps change in molar structure reflects subtle changes in food habits to softer, more easily masticated foods, but with no significant shift in other niche requirements as might be reflected in changing tooth and hence body size.’
    • ‘Food is masticated between horny plates located on each jaw.’
    • ‘The molars masticate the food and move across a field like a lawn mower.’
    • ‘Spines at the base of the tongue grind against spiny ridges on the palate to masticate food.’
    • ‘Coffea arabica originated in the Ethiopian highlands, where the raw, unroasted beans were masticated and the leaves brewed like tea by the locals.’
    • ‘And up on a branch, it sat, eyeing me cheekily, and continued to masticate the fruits of my labours.’
    • ‘The party ate their portions in silence, masticating every crumb.’
    • ‘For purées and ice creams, a juicer, which masticates the fruit and vegetables, is employed to create smooth nut butters and frozen desserts with a creamy mouth feel.’
    • ‘Half masticated carrots are not my idea of yummy.’
    • ‘The consumers masticated their burgers and fries as they regarded the crowd with silent bemusement.’
    • ‘Additionally, cats do not masticate meat, and the peglike first upper molar does not occlude with any tooth of the lower jaw, so it serves no clear function.’
    • ‘You may cultivate the image of an amiable buffoon, and you may, quite frankly, look a bit of a mess (the most commonly-used image is that of a slowly masticating panda).’
    • ‘Each strand of the story anticipates its own resolution as surely as the presence of koalas presages masticated eucalyptus.’
    • ‘I'll post a proper review when I've properly masticated the end.’
    • ‘Questions of race and uncertain identities are masticated into stringy chewing gum.’
    • ‘Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen her unwrap the gum, pop the wad in her mouth and masticate it experimentally.’
    • ‘And are we not omnivores, with teeth for rending and tearing, teeth for subduing vegetable matter, for cracking the carapaces of crawfish and beetle, for masticating the toughest of hides?’
    • ‘It has been suggested that herbivorous dinosaurs swallowed large stones that collected in a birdlike gizzard grinding the poorly masticated herbage.’
    • ‘All in all, almost everyone involved (plus quite a few others) had been implicated, with the exception of Tom, who continued to masticate the meat chunk ferally.’
    chew, munch, champ, chomp, crunch, eat
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century (earlier (Middle English) as mastication): from late Latin masticat- ‘chewed’, from the verb masticare, from Greek mastikhan ‘gnash the teeth’ (related to masasthai ‘to chew’).