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Borrowed from Latin saturatus, perfect passive participle of saturare (to fill full), from satur (full).


  • IPA(key): /ˈsætʃəˌɹeɪt/


saturate (third-person singular simple present saturates, present participle saturating, simple past and past participle saturated)

  1. To cause to become completely penetrated, impregnated, or soaked (especially with a liquid).
    • 1815, in the Annals of Philosophy, volume 6, page 332:
      Suppose, on the contrary, that a piece of charcoal saturated with hydrogen gas is put into a receiver filled with carbonic acid gas, []
    • (Can we date this quote by Macaulay and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Innumerable flocks and herbs covered that vast expanse of emerald meadow saturated with the moisture of the Atlantic.
    Rain saturated their clothes.
    After walking home in the driving rain, his clothes were saturated.
  2. To fill to excess.
    Modern television is saturated with violence.
  3. To satisfy the affinity of; to cause a substance to become inert by chemical combination with all that it can hold.
    One can saturate phosphorus with chlorine.
  4. (optics) To render pure, or of a colour free from white light.

Related termsEdit



saturate (plural saturates)

  1. (chemistry) Something saturated, especially a saturated fat.
    • 1999, Tom Brody, Nutritional Biochemistry, Academic Press (→ISBN), page 363
      Through formation of a double bond, stearic acid (18:0), a saturate, is converted to acid (18:1), a monounsaturate.
    • 1973, Paul Nels Rylander, Fourth Conference on Catalytic Hydrogenation and Analogous Pressure Reactions
      We estimate from Table 4 that the average deuterium content in the saturate is approximately 1.1 when palladium is the catalyst, 1.6 when platinum is the catalyst, and 1.7 when rhodium is the catalyst. If there were only deuterium on the surface, the saturate would average 2 deuteriums.


saturate (comparative more saturate, superlative most saturate)

  1. Saturated; wet.
    • 1785, William Cowper, “The Task”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name), page 23:
      The innocent are gay—the lark is gay, / That dries his feathers, saturate with dew, / Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams / Of dayspring overshoot his humble nest.
  2. (entomology) Very intense.
    saturate green

Further readingEdit