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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Inoculation \In*oc"u*la"tion\, n. [L. inoculatio: cf. F. inoculation.] 1. The act or art of inoculating trees or plants. [1913 Webster] 2. (Med.) The act or practice of communicating a disease to a person in health, by inserting contagious matter in his skin or flesh, usually for the purpose of inducing immunity to the disease. [1913 Webster +PJC] Note: The use was formerly limited to the intentional communication of the smallpox, but is now extended to include any similar introduction of modified virus; as, the inoculation of rabies by Pasteur. The organisms inoculated are usually an attentuated form of the disease-causing organism, which may multiply harmlessly in the body of the host, but induce immunity to the more virulent forms of the organism. [1913 Webster +PJC] 3. Fig.: The communication of principles, especially false principles, to the mind. [1913 Webster] 4. (Microbiology) The introduction of microorganisms into a growth medium, to cause the growth and multiplication of the microorganisms. [PJC]