If you inoculate someone, you try to make him immune to a disease by injecting a little dose of it, so his body can make antibodies to fight it off. When you were little you probably got a vaccine to inoculate you against smallpox.

When inoculate first came into English in the 15th century, it referred to inserting a bud onto another plant. Now you’re more likely to hear it used to describe the process of building up immunity to a disease by giving someone a vaccine, which also involves the insertion of foreign matter. You can also inoculate someone metaphorically, with ideas.

Definitions of inoculate
  1. verb
    impregnate with the virus or germ of a disease in order to render immune
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    type of:
    fertilize and cause to grow
  2. verb
    perform vaccinations or produce immunity in by inoculation
    synonyms: immunise, immunize, vaccinate
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    type of:
    inject, shoot
    give an injection to
  3. verb
    introduce a microorganism into
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    inoculate with microorganisms
    type of:
    enclose, inclose, insert, introduce, put in, stick in
  4. verb
    introduce an idea or attitude into the mind of
    “My teachers inoculated me with their beliefs”
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    type of:
    impart knowledge of some fact, state or affairs, or event to
  5. verb
    insert a bud for propagation
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    type of:
    cause to propagate, as by grafting or layering
Word Family
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