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1. The sudden formation and collapse of low-pressure bubbles in liquids by means of mechanical forces, such as those resulting from rotation of a marine propeller.
2. The pitting of a solid surface.
3. Medicine The formation of cavities in a body tissue or an organ, especially those formed in the lung as a result of tuberculosis.

[From cavity.]

cav′i·tate′ v.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (intr)
to form cavities or bubbles
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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References in periodicals archive ?
In calm seas, trim your outboard up allowing the prop to slightly cavitate, which in turn creates a more turbulent propwash.
* The ultrasonics are able to cavitate more efficiently since there is no interference of suspended particulate.
"This would make the pump cavitate and stop the pump."
Some other designs use a horizontal shock damper but the damper is under-sized and the fluid can cavitate and lose its effectiveness.
This unusual presentation is marked by the presence of one or more nodules that may or may not cavitate. The nodules may resemble tuberculoma, carcinoma of the lung, or coccidioidomycosis; histology is required to make an accurate diagnosis.
PCLH is characterized by peribronchiolar proliferation of Langerhans cells, forming stellate nodules that cavitate and form cysts.
Alternating high and low pressure create small vacuum bubbles, which then implode (cavitate).
If it had been over 2,000, the hydraulics would cavitate, causing vapor bubbles to form in the pump."
(8) squamous-cell carcinoma is the most common histological type of lung cancer to cavitate (82% of cavitary primary lung cancer, Figure 1), followed by adenocarcinoma (Figure 2) and large cell carcinoma.
This may cause the feed pump to cavitate and ultimately fail, therefore providing insufficient feed water to the boiler.
The lack of fluid had caused the hydraulic pump to cavitate, overheat and catch fire, which forced an emergency landing in Iraq.