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

Sellers get a splashy profile page and communicate with buyers through an internal messaging system. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Best apps and sites for selling used home goods," 8 Nov. 2018 As a result, Iran's intelligence was able to quickly identify the Iranians communicating through those sites. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How did Iran find CIA spies? They Googled it," 2 Nov. 2018 Why is that an important value for a luxury brand to communicate today? Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Inside the Interactive Maze Gripping the Milan Art World," 27 Sep. 2018 The process also involves choosing the right fabric, creating the very first sample, communicating with teams around the globe, and weighing the opinions of dozens of people. Harper's BAZAAR, "THIS Is How a Red Carpet-Worthy Gown Gets Made," 18 Sep. 2018 Manafort's attorneys have said his confinement has been unnecessary and unduly harsh, and has hurt his ability to communicate with his defense team. Peter Doocy, Fox News, "Mueller's team slams Manafort's lavish lifestyle in trial's opening statements, as defense says wealth is no crime," 31 July 2018 Salazar has denied preventing his team from communicating with Utility. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Body camera bidding specs under Bexar spotlight," 8 June 2018 Auction antics hardly amount to historical verdicts, but, these days, trying to ignore the market when discussing artistic values is like trying to communicate by whisper at a Trump rally. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Giacometti’s Skinny Sublimity," 6 June 2018 By the mid-1980s, Rogers was an icon of children’s television, known for communicating with his young viewers in the most fundamental and profound way. Maxwell King, Time, "Get an Exclusive Look Inside the First Full-Length Mister Rogers Biography," 1 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

17 Nov 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).


by force of circumstances

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