When something percolates, it spreads gradually. If the news of your victory in the spelling bee spread slowly through your entire school, you could sit back and enjoy watching it percolate.

When a liquid percolates, it's filtered through something, and when an idea percolates, it's filtered through a group of people. Percolate often refers specifically to coffee, which is brewed by mixing ground coffee beans with hot water and filtering them through paper — in other words, coffee percolates. The Latin root is percolatus, which comes from per, or "through," plus colare, "to strain."

Definitions of percolate
  1. verb
    cause (a solvent) to pass through a permeable substance in order to extract a soluble constituent
  2. verb
    prepare in a percolator
    percolate coffee”
  3. verb
    pass through
    synonyms: filter, permeate, sink in
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    pass into or through by filtering or permeating
    cause (a liquid) to enter by penetrating the interstices
    type of:
    penetrate, perforate
    pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance
  4. verb
    permeate or penetrate gradually
    synonyms: leach
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    type of:
    dribble, filter, trickle
    run or flow slowly, as in drops or in an unsteady stream
  5. verb
    spread gradually
    “Light percola ted into our house in the morning”
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    type of:
    diffuse, fan out, spread, spread out
    move outward
  6. noun
    the product of percolation
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    type of:
    the product of filtration; a gas or liquid that has been passed through a filter
  7. verb
    gain or regain energy
    synonyms: gain vigor, perk, perk up, pick up
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    type of:
    convalesce, recover, recuperate
    get over an illness or shock
Word Family

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