col·​late | \ kə-ˈlāt How to pronounce collate (audio) , kä-, kō-; ˈkä-ˌlāt, ˈkō- \
collated; collating

Definition of collate

transitive verb

1a : to compare critically
b : to collect, compare carefully in order to verify, and often to integrate or arrange in order collated the data for publication
2a : to assemble in proper order especially : to assemble in order for binding collate printed sheets
b : to verify the order of (printed sheets)
3 [Latin collatus, past participle] : to institute (a cleric) to a benefice

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Other Words from collate

collator \ kə-​ˈlā-​tər How to pronounce collator (audio) , kä-​ , kō-​ ; ˈkä-​ˌlā-​ , ˈkō-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for collate

compare, contrast, collate mean to set side by side in order to show differences and likenesses. compare implies an aim of showing relative values or excellences by bringing out characteristic qualities whether similar or divergent. compared the convention facilities of the two cities contrast implies an emphasis on differences. contrasted the computerized system with the old filing cards collate implies minute and critical inspection in order to note points of agreement or divergence. data from districts around the country will be collated

What does it mean to collate in a printing or copying context?

In terms of printing or copying, collating refers to putting printed sheets or photocopies in proper order, especially for binding. When you're printing or photocopying something and you're only printing or making one copy, you don't need to address the idea of collation at all. But if you're printing or making multiple copies of multi-page documents, you might want the printer or photocopier to collate the pages.

If you select the "collate" option, the documents that emerge all nicely printed or copied will have their pages in order already; you'll have a stack of documents all ready to go. If you choose not to collate the documents, you'll have a stack with all the first pages together, all the second pages together, all the third pages together, etc., and you'll have to assemble each document by hand. Collating, then, can save a lot of time.

Examples of collate in a Sentence

The invisible part of the work of such a writer is collating and organizing all the research material, which is a slow, painstaking task that many writers skip or abbreviate. — Nicholas LeMann, New Republic, 2 Sept. 2002 Rare-book dealers use the word "collating" to mean going through a book page by page when it arrives to make certain that it is complete … — Calvin Trillin, New Yorker, 30 Oct. 1989 "Certainly," Kidson said. " … we need to have him on our side and cooperating every step of the road after we've collated all the information." — Evelyn Anthony, The Defector, (1981) 1982 And here have I, as before observed, carefully collected, collated and arranged them … — Washington Irving, A History of New York, 1809 They are still collating the data. The photocopier will collate the pages of the report.
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Recent Examples on the Web SafeSport was created to collate a central database. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, "Four years later, how the Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics scandals continue," 24 June 2020 The food is being collated into bags designed to last a student the first three weeks of the school shutdown. Anna Claire Vollers |, al, "After schools close, Alabama communities step in to feed students," 17 Mar. 2020 Collect and collate the emerging relevant real-world data and evidence that can enable federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration to advance the design and effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. Andrew C. Von Eschenbach And Marco Annunziata, STAT, "Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it is time for biomedical research investments to pay off," 10 Apr. 2020 Another layer of complexity comes from the fact that Nevada offered a four-day early-voting period for the first time, meaning that day-of caucusgoers’ preferences had to be collated in real time at each precinct with the early vote totals. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "On Politics: Watch Where Sanders Goes," 24 Feb. 2020 Guillen has collated multiple examples of the good that even suspect technology can do. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Tech is bringing new tools to the COVID-19 fight," 6 Apr. 2020 Of the more than 9,000 children, around 729 have been repatriated, according to Save the Children, which collated publicly available figures. Isabel Coles, WSJ, "Norwegian Government Loses Key Coalition Partner After Islamic-State-Linked Repatriation," 20 Jan. 2020 By 2008, the Stuys had collated more than a decade's worth of finding ads, along with interviews with orphanage directors. NBC News, "In connecting Chinese adoptees to birth families, couple makes discovery about China's one-child policy," 30 Mar. 2020 The difficulty in collating the necessary figures, and the high rate of errors introduced by the extremely manual collection process, meant that the team had little time to analyze the data and make recommendations for improvement, Mr. Wilson said. Tatyana Shumsky, WSJ, "Vodafone Supercharges Its Procurement With Automation, AI," 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'collate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of collate

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for collate

back-formation from collation

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Time Traveler for collate

Time Traveler

The first known use of collate was in 1612

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Statistics for collate

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Collate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for collate


How to pronounce collate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of collate

: to gather together information from different sources in order to study it carefully
: to arrange (sheets of paper) in the correct order


col·​late | \ kə-ˈlāt, kä-, kō-; ˈkä-ˌlāt, ˈkō- How to pronounce collate (audio) \
collated; collating

Legal Definition of collate

transitive verb

in the civil law of Louisiana : to return to an estate for equal division children or grandchildren, coming to the succession of their fathers, mothers or other ascendants, must collate what they have receivedLouisiana Civil Code

intransitive verb

in the civil law of Louisiana : to return property or legacies to an estate for division shall then be obliged to collate up to the sum necessaryLouisiana Civil Code

History and Etymology for collate

back-formation from collation, from Latin collatio (bonorum) bringing together (of property) for distribution to heirs

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More from Merriam-Webster on collate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for collate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with collate

Spanish Central: Translation of collate

Nglish: Translation of collate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of collate for Arabic Speakers

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