macerate (v.)

late 15c., "soften and separate by steeping in a fluid," a back-formation from maceration, or else from Latin maceratus, past participle of macerare "to make soft or tender; soften by steeping or soaking;" in transferred sense "to weaken" in body or mind, "to waste away, enervate," which is related to maceria "garden wall," originally "of kneaded clay," probably from PIE *mak-ero-, suffixed form of root *mag- "to knead, fashion, fit," but there are phonetic difficulties. Related: Macerated; macerating.

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