com·​mu·​ni·​cate | \ kə-ˈmyü-nə-ˌkāt How to pronounce communicate (audio) \
communicated; communicating

Definition of communicate

transitive verb

1a : to convey knowledge of or information about : make known communicate a story She communicated her ideas to the group.
b : to reveal by clear signs His fear communicated itself to his friends. He communicated his dissatisfaction to the staff.
2 : to cause to pass from one to another Some diseases are easily communicated.
3 archaic : share

intransitive verb

1 : to transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood two sides failing to communicate with each other The computer communicates with peripheral equipment.
2 : to open into each other : connect The rooms communicate.
3 : to receive Communion Some Christians communicate in both elements, bread and wine.

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Other Words from communicate

communicatee \ kə-​ˌmyü-​ni-​kə-​ˈtē How to pronounce communicatee (audio) \ noun

Examples of communicate in a Sentence

He was asked to communicate the news to the rest of the people. She communicated her ideas to the group. The two computers are able to communicate directly with one another. The pilot communicated with the airport just before the crash. The couple has trouble communicating. the challenge of getting the two groups to communicate with each other We communicate a lot of information through body language. He communicated his dissatisfaction to the staff. If you're excited about the product, your enthusiasm will communicate itself to customers. The disease is communicated through saliva.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The act of wearing a bow in one’s hair has held a multitude of meanings throughout history, ranging from communicating the status of one’s love life to displaying loyalty to a regime. Anna Purna Kambhampaty, Time, "From Marie Antoinette to JoJo Siwa, Hair Bows Have a Surprisingly Meaningful History," 8 Aug. 2019 Buddy system: Travel with others and communicate with each other about your observations to make informed decisions. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "Avalanche safety tips and preparation," 5 Aug. 2019 There was also no cell phone service for outside providers, so the company had to purchase a burner phone to communicate with other people on the island. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Denver-based firm goes to work in the middle of the Indian Ocean," 2 Aug. 2019 But the upset and pleading from small businesses along Florida Street – in the heart of Mobile’s Midtown -- has prompted city officials to consider new ways of communicating about road projects and keeping neighborhoods from being hurt. al, "How one small Mobile project has affected city’s attitude toward road construction," 31 July 2019 The aging public safety radio system has faltered at critical times under heavy use, slowing responses and preventing police from communicating with dispatchers and fellow officers. Larry Barszewski,, "School bus radios won’t slow police communications anymore," 26 July 2019 The court ordered that Keever and Castle cease operations, and they are now barred from communicating with any Diamond timeshare owners. Chabeli Herrera,, "Timeshare giant Diamond shuts down another company that claims it can cancel your timeshare," 19 July 2019 That unit employs 850 people in research labs across the country, and employees had reportedly already been struggling with restrictions on communicating with the office in China after the blacklisting. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "What to Make of China’s Economic Slowdown: CEO Daily," 15 July 2019 Relatives and friends have chosen to remain part of Spencer’s life in prison by communicating with him periodically. Michael Todd, The Mercury News, "Santa Cruz County camp counselor sentenced to 30 years for producing child pornography," 12 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'communicate.' 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 communicate

1529, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for communicate

Latin communicatus, past participle of communicare to impart, participate, from communis common — more at mean

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Statistics for communicate

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for communicate

The first known use of communicate was in 1529

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More Definitions for communicate



English Language Learners Definition of communicate

: to give information about (something) to someone by speaking, writing, moving your hands, etc.
: to get someone to understand your thoughts or feelings
medical : to pass (a disease) from one person or animal to another


com·​mu·​ni·​cate | \ kə-ˈmyü-nə-ˌkāt How to pronounce communicate (audio) \
communicated; communicating

Kids Definition of communicate

1 : to get in touch “… we won't be able to communicate. The mail is unpredictable …”— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising
2 : to make known I communicated my needs to the nurse.
3 : to pass (as a disease) from one to another : spread


transitive verb
com·​mu·​ni·​cate | \ kə-ˈmyü-nə-ˌkāt How to pronounce communicate (audio) \
communicated; communicating

Medical Definition of communicate

: to cause to pass from one to another some diseases are easily communicated

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Comments on communicate

What made you want to look up communicate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

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