com·mu·ni·cate | \ kə-ˈmyü-nə-ˌkāt \
communicated; communicating

Definition of communicate 

transitive verb

1 archaic : share

2a : 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.

3 : to cause to pass from one to another Some diseases are easily communicated.

intransitive verb

1 : to receive Communion Some Christians communicate in both elements, bread and wine.

2 : 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.

3 : to open into each other : connect The rooms communicate.

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Other words from communicate

communicatee \kə-ˌmyü-ni-kə-ˈtē \ noun
communicator 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

Two-way radios, giving teams the ability to communicate during the race with their drivers, have been a staple of stock car racing since the 1970s. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "How radio communication provided a winning tool and changed the course of NASCAR racing," 9 July 2018 The disorder doesn’t reduce intelligence, only a person’s ability to communicate. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "Aphasia makes you lose your words after brain damage," 8 July 2018 Recently two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communicating with players. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Game Developers Fired After Arguing With Fans on Twitter," 8 July 2018 The simple ability for everyone to communicate instantly with everyone else has had a profound effect on almost every aspect of our lives. Dwight Silverman, San Antonio Express-News, "How to be a good internet citizen," 3 July 2018 JetBlue Airways said late Tuesday that one of its flights originating from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport experienced a radio issue impacting the crew's ability to communicate. Peter Martinez, CBS News, "Authorities swarm JetBlue plane experiencing radio issue at JFK Airport," 27 June 2018 Coffey said ProHealth is in the process of communicating with Yagoda's patients. Christopher Kuhagen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brian Yagoda, killed riding his bicycle in Delafield, is remembered as a doctor who cared deeply about his patients," 19 June 2018 The company also insisted that in communicating with the public, agencies use the Evzio injector’s brand name, and not mention its biggest competitor. Max Blau, STAT, "Donations of $4,500 overdose antidote were PR gold for drug maker — but some kits were close to expiring," 18 June 2018 Verbal, written communication skills One of the most crucial attributes of any retail employee is the ability to effectively communicate verbally as well as in writing. Jennifer Kimrey, Houston Chronicle, "Top salespeople need specific skill set," 17 June 2018

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 sense 2a

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

8 Sep 2018

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 \
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 \
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).


the setting in which something occurs

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