Part of speech: verb
Origin: Middle English, 17th century
To chew food
To crush into pulp
Examples of Masticate in a sentence
"His injured jaw left him unable to masticate his meals."
"Rhinos have a unique way of masticating the leaves and branches they eat throughout their lives."
Popularity Over Time
Where did chewing, or masticating, come from? We owe the process by which we eat nearly all foods to mammalian herbivores. In fact, carnivorous animals actually hardly chew at all. Their jaws are designed to rip food free and swallow it whole. This explains the origin of the phrase "wolfing it down."
Did you Know?
They don't sound exactly the same, but masticate shares its roots with another fancy-sounding word relating to the teeth — mandible.