Definition of flocculate in US English:



  • Form or cause to form into small clumps or masses.

    no object ‘it tends to flocculate in high salinities’
    with object ‘its ability to flocculate suspended silt’
    • ‘Syneresis cracks can develop in clays that have flocculated before settling.’
    • ‘By causing soil particles to flocculate - bunch together - some chemicals improve the soil structure in order to combat the effects of compaction.’
    • ‘The property of cation exchange in clays is used in a common agricultural process whereby the dispersed mineral fabric of a heavy clay soil is flocculated by the addition of calcium to improve the workability.’
    • ‘When the bitumen emulsion is in contact with the surface of the mineral aggregate, bitumen droplets must preferentially flocculate onto the mineral surface if the emulsion is to break and spread over the surface.’
    • ‘These can be flocculated forming a High Density Sludge which once settled can give a relatively clear overflow, which is discharged to the rivers (the HDS process).’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin flocculus ‘floccule’ + -ate.