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Increasing Your Vocabulary: Pulverate

Today’s word is fairly easy to remember; pulverate. It is a word that has practical application in your vocabulary.

The word ‘pulverate’ comes from the Latin word ‘pulvis’, which means “powder”. Thus, pulverate means “to reduce to a powder” or “covered with powder”. How can this be used in everyday applications? Let me give an example.

Wheat is commonly harvested, thrashed, dried, and then ground. If it is ground finely enough, it results in whole wheat flour. In order to turn wheat into whole wheat flour, then, the wheat seeds must be pulverated. (Pulverated is the past tense of pulverate.) In other words, we pulverate wheat seeds to yield whole wheat flour.

You might wonder how this would be easy to remember. Pulverate has the same root and origin as “pulverize”. Pulverize is simply an active verb, but the meaning is extremely similar. The word can also be used in other ways, though not exactly in keeping with the other use just shown. For example, if books are kept on a shelf for a long time without being touched, they are often pulverated. In this use of the word, it means that they are covered with dust.

‘Pulverate’ is a perfectly good word with a solid meaning. It isn’t used as often as it could be, but it is used. The word hasn’t become obsolete. It is worth having in your vocabulary.


What do you think?

Written by Rex Trulove


  1. Thank you for sharing the meaning of the word pulverate which sounds like the saying from the late Moe Howard of The Three Stooges which is “I will pulverize you.” before he would slap the other Stooges.