FROM THE COMPACT OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY:
/pul yoo layt/
1 reproduce or spread so as to become very widespread.
2 teem with life and activity.
□ pullulation noun
□ pullulating adj.
FROM ONELOOK SEARCH DICTIONARY:
▸ verb: become abundant; increase rapidly
▸ verb: breed freely and abundantly
▸ verb: be teeming, be abuzz ("Her mind pullulated with worries")
▸ verb: produce buds, branches, or germinate
▸ verb: move in large numbers ("Beggars pullulated in the plaza")
1619, from L. pullulatus, pp. of pullulare "grow, sprout," from pullulus, dim. ofpullus "young animal." —OnLine Etymology Dictionary
PULLULATE IN USE: DESCRIBING A MOSH PIT
mosh pit: Mosh is a type of dance. Moshing is typically done in a mosh pit or circle pit. —Answers.com.
Come December, [director Michael Haneke's film "The White Ribbon"] will go into general release, though the chances of its landing in your local multiplex are slim — no great loss, in the eyes of the director, for whom the modern movie theatre is a pullulating mosh pit. "I hate the smell of popcorn," he told me, adding, "I rarely go to the cinema."—Anthony Lane. "Happy Haneke: Michael Haneke and his movies," The New Yorker, Oct. 5, 2009, 60.
PULLULATE IN USE: DESCRIBING A WRITER'S SENTENCE STYLE
[Martin] Amis [in his novel Money] throws out coinages like a slot-machine paying out: John Self's dispirited, sagging apartment is "the Sock", a haircut is "a rug-rethink". There are sentences that pullulate with excess, descriptions that hum with mad vitality. Self moans: "By now I am a crackling sorcerer of grub and booze." — Martin, Tim. "Amis's 'Money': An unfilmable book? There's no such thing." Telegraph.co.uk, Nov. 12, 2009.
PULLULATING IN USE: DESCRIBING CAIRO'S ISLAMIC QUARTER
There’s a story about Cairo: that one day they pulled down the wall of an empty lot to find 50,000 people living inside, hitherto unsuspected. A walk through the pullulating streets of the Islamic Quarter (nearest metro Ataba) shows you just how crowded the city can be. Prepare for sensory overload, as soap-sellers, silversmiths and spice merchants foist their wares upon you between the hammams, caravanserai (roadside inns) and tea shops. —Sean Thomas. "Cairo: The Complete Guide," Times Online, Sept. 18, 2008.
PULLULATING IN USE: DESCRIBING AN ART OBJECT
by Douglas Remy
I greatly enjoy creating patterns and symmetries, but machines will always create more perfect ones. So I also enjoy “busting up” or disrupting these patterns in various ways. In this piece, I have used a great many small objects, both industrial and decorative, to produce an extruded mosaic that is simply pullulating with patterns. The overall impression is one of order and harmony, but a closer inspection reveals an abundance of dislocations and asymmetries. —Douglas Remy, Doremiarts.com.
PULLULATING IN EUPHUISTIC CONTEXTS
With such "energetic" definitions as breed freely and abundantly; increase rapidly;produce buds, branches, or germinate; move in large numbers; be teeming, be abuzz, as well as such synonyms as bourgeon, germinate, shoot, sprout, spud, pour, stream, swarm, and teem (WordNet), the verb pullulate veritably hums with unique intensity and imminent expectation.
That charged dynamic makes it attractive to writers who engage in the excesses the euphuistic style of writing. We're not talking here about euphemism — substituting an inoffensive or mild expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant — or euphony — combinations of words pleasing to the ear. We're talking about euphuism [e yoo' foo ism] which, as Garner reports,
derives from John Lyly's play entitled Euphues (1578) in which the characters speak in an affected, highly ornate style. Thus the term now denotes a convoluted, embellished prose style. —Bryan A. Garner. A Dictionary of Modern American Usage. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998, 266.
Unlike the well-tempered sentences above (describing a style of writing, a mosh pit, the streets of Cairo, and a work of art), the sample sentences that follow (describing a Canadian rock band and a former President of the United States) will come across, I'm sure you'll notice, as feverish and forced, using intensified vocabularies —energized here and there by the verb pullulate — each writer aiming for an overtone that is energetic in its pace and almost ecstatic in its urgency. (Yes, I know: that last sentence itself borders on or, perhaps, even crosses over into the euphuistic mode.)
PULLULATING IN EUPHUISTIC PROSE DESCRIBING "LOVE'S ORDEALS" BY WAY OF A TOAD METAPHOR
"Monkeys Blood" album.
Permanently stimulated by a synapse twisting brew of rock n’ roll sour mash, The Dacios [a Canadian rock band] are esteemed for their white-heat live performances.But there’s more to this [band] than the brain pulverising roar of a supercharged V12 running full throttle through a nuclear junkyard. Linda J’s lyrical concoctions are a virulent antivenom which she expectorates in heaving torrents against the darkening forces of urban banality. Her unflinching psychic insights wrench the cancerous lesions of modern life into the glare and splay love’s ordeals on a dissection table like so many toads, their entrails pullulating with rheumy ooze.
PULLULATING IN EUPHUISTIC PROSE DESCRIBING GEORGE W. BUSH:
George W. Bush, you condemnable addlebrained purulent flunk. If there is such a thing as hell you and that sallow malignancy Richard Cheney should be confined to it. To a creep feeder in hell. And each hellish afternon hosed down with pigwash. And every hellish evening left to fall asleep, biting each other, on a pullulating bed of chattering flesh fly larvae. —Corrente.blogspot.com.
Though euphuistic sentences such as these move forward a-wrenching and a-puffing, laboring and belaboring points in extremis, I find they can, in small doses, be fun to read, even if only to smile at the romping enthusiasm of their authors.
A MEMORY DEVICE
The editors at mnemonicdictionary.com offer this tip on remembering the meaning of pullulate: "Think of pollination, [which] spreads freely and abundantly."