per·co·late / ˈpərkəˌlāt/ • v. 1. [intr.] (of a liquid or gas) filter gradually through a porous surface or substance: the water percolating through the soil may leach out minerals. ∎ fig. (of information or an idea or feeling) spread gradually through an area or group of people: this idea soon percolated into the Christian Church.2. [intr.] (of coffee) be prepared in a percolator: he put some coffee on to percolate. ∎ [tr.] prepare (coffee) in a percolator: [as adj.] (percolated) freshly percolated coffee. ∎ fig. be or become full of lively activity or excitement: the night was percolating with an expectant energy.DERIVATIVES: per·co·la·tion / ˌpərkəˈlāshən/ n.