am·​bu·​late ˈam-byə-ˌlāt How to pronounce ambulate (audio)
ambulated; ambulating

intransitive verb

: to move from place to place : walk
She was hopeful that the surgery would improve her ability to ambulate.Anita Lewis and Joyce Sasson Levy

Examples of ambulate in a Sentence

a progressive disease that compromises a patient's ability to ambulate
Recent Examples on the Web These rolling toys work on carpet, tile and wood floors and ambulate in a similar way to natural prey. Jessica Hartshorn, Good Housekeeping, 14 June 2022 Sternburg who had recently recovered from a foot injury, was reappreciating her ability to ambulate at the same time as the world had withdrawn. Tom Teicholz, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ambulate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin ambulātus, past participle of ambulāre "to go by foot, walk, walk for pleasure or exercise, travel" — more at amble entry 1

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ambulate was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near ambulate

Cite this Entry

“Ambulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Medical Definition


intransitive verb
am·​bu·​late -ˌlāt How to pronounce ambulate (audio)
ambulated; ambulating
: to move from place to place
the patient was allowed to ambulate in her room
ambulation noun
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