AskDefine | Define macerate

Dictionary Definition



1 separate into constituents by soaking
2 become soft or separate and disintegrate as a result of excessive soaking; "the tissue macerated in the water"
3 soften, usually by steeping in liquid, and cause to disintegrate as a result; "macerate peaches"; "the gizzards macerates the food in the digestive system"
4 cause to grow thin or weak; "The treatment emaciated him" [syn: waste, emaciate]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • RP:
    • /ˈmæsəreɪt/


  1. To soften (something) or separate (something) into pieces by means of immersing it in a liquid.
  2. To make lean; to cause to waste away.
  3. To subdue the appetite by poor or scanty diet; to mortify.


  1. A macerated substance.





Extensive Definition

Maceration is a word that derives from the Latin maceratus ("to soften"; past participle of macerare). It may refer to:
  • Maceration, in chemistry and herbalism, the preparation of an extract by soaking material (such as animal skins or parts of fibrous plants) in water, vegetable oil or some organic solvent. The word may also refer to the same process when used to produce perfume stock.
  • Maceration (wine), in viticulture, the steeping of grape skins and solids in must, where alcohol later acts as a solvent to extract colour, tannin and aroma from the skins during the wine fermentation process.
  • A macerator, in sewage treatment, a machine that reduces solids to small pieces in order to deal with rags and other solid waste.
  • Maceration (bone), a method of separating of bone from soft body tissue by controlled putrefaction.
  • A macerator, in chicken farming, a high-speed grinder used to slaughter unwanted male chicks in large numbers.
  • Maceration, in biology, is the mechanical grinding or kneading of semi-solid food in the stomach into chyme.
  • Maceration, in dermatology, is the softening and whitening of skin kept constantly wet, leaving it more vulnerable to infection or damage by tearing.
macerate in Dutch: Maceratie
macerate in Polish: Maceracja

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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