When things get stuck or clumped together, they agglutinate. In biology, red blood cells are said to agglutinate when they adhere to each other, forming a mass of cells.

There's glue at the heart of agglutinate — it comes from the Latin agglutinare, "fasten with glue." Microbiologists use this word to describe the behavior of cells and particles. Linguistics experts also use this verb: when words or sounds agglutinate, they are strung together to form more complex compound words. In English, one example is shamelessness, which agglutinates shame, less, and ness.

Definitions of agglutinate
  1. verb
    clump together; as of bacteria, red blood cells, etc.
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    haemagglutinate, hemagglutinate
    cause the clumping together (of red blood cells)
    type of:
    adhere, cleave, cling, cohere, stick
    come or be in close contact with; stick or hold together and resist separation
  2. verb
    string together (morphemes in an agglutinating language)
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    type of:
    become attached
  3. adjective
    united as if by glue
    synonyms: agglutinative
    tending to adhere
Word Family

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