noun, plural: inoculations


The process of introducing an antigenic substance or vaccine into the body to trigger immune response against a specific disease.


The act of introducing microorganism or suspension of microorganisms (e.g. bacteria) into a culture medium.


Inoculation is the act or process of introducing something to where it will grow or reproduce. It is most commonly used in respect of the introduction of a serum, vaccine, or antigenic substance into the body of a human or animal, especially to produce or boost immunity to a particular disease.

It may also refer to the communication of a disease to a living organism by transferring its causative agent into the organism, to implant microorganisms or infectious material into a culture medium.

Word origin: Origin: 1400–50; late ME < L inoculātiōn- (s. of inoculātiō), an engrafting.

Related forms: inoculate (verb), inoculum (noun).
Related phrases: inoculation loop.

See also: vaccination.

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