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Vocabulary Shout-Out: Sen. Chuck Schumer for "Agglomerated"

Sen. Chuck Schumer earned some attention for himself last week by using the word agglomerate in a statement to the press, saying of a series of immigration bills coming out of the House, "“they’ll all get agglomerated as we go to conference at some point.”

Emily Heil of The Washington Post had this to say about Schumer's word choice:

News value of his comments aside, at first, we were certain that the New York Democrat had coined a new word, much like former President George W. Bush’s famous invention of the lovely — and quite useful —  “misunderestimate.” And with portmanteaus like “cronut” and “Sharknado” all the rage, we’re particularly on the lookout for fresh phrasing.

A quick check in the Vocabulary.com Dictionary shows us what Heil went on to discover: that agglomerate is indeed a word. It means "to form into one cluster." Heil goes on to credit Schumer for the innovation of "applying to the world of lawmaking a word most often used in the context of industrial science," and in a "quick Nexis search," find some examples from the contexts in which agglomerate is generally used. 

Here on Vocabulary.com, no such search was needed, as usage examples are already embedded in our Dictionary. (They're organized into categories, too, making it obvious agglomerate's a science word from the get-go.) Here's what comes up for agglomerate:

These agglomerate blocks, however prepared, are placed in glass or porcelain containing vessels, as shown in Fig. (Bottone, S. R.)

For centuries, wars reallocated huge territories, as empires were agglomerated or dismantled and states wiped off the map. (New York Times Dec 17, 2011)

These embryos, in turn, keep on agglomerating until an Earth-size Mars has formed. (Science Magazine May 25, 2011)

The phenomenon of agglutination may also possibly be due to osmotic pressure, a positive centre of diffusion attracting and agglomerating the particles held in suspension. (Leduc, Stéphane)

Go to agglomerate's page to see even more!


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