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 Maybe the stressors of the pandemic have made certain people unavailable or difficult to communicate with regularly. Anna Borges, SELF, "10 Online Support Groups for Anyone Struggling to Get Through 2020," 30 July 2020 Those manning the missile battery were also unable to communicate with their command center and fired twice without getting approval. Tim O'donnell, TheWeek, "10 things you need to know today: July 12, 2020," 12 July 2020 Mary did visit him twice after the lockdown, trying to communicate with him through a window. Matt Soergel, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus kept them apart for 114 days. So she took a dishwashing job to see her husband," 12 July 2020 On the floor, desks are packed tightly together, and members gather closely to communicate with their colleagues. Allison Gordon, CNN, "Dozens of Mississippi lawmakers have coronavirus after weeks of refusing to wear masks," 10 July 2020 Reputable charities should recognize not only the etiquette, but the self-interest, in following a donor’s wish about how to communicate. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Generous donations beget more requests," 9 July 2020 As hospitals and healthcare clinics continue to implement A.I. technologies for patient care, new ethical questions are being raised about how to communicate the use of those technologies to patients. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "Self-driving cars are returning to work too," 7 July 2020 There are never words to communicate the pain of such a loss. oregonlive, "Oswego Lake Country Club golf pro Sean Fredrickson and his 3 children killed in plane crash at Idaho lake," 7 July 2020 Protesters and counterprotesters went from the church grounds to the public sidewalk and back, doing their best to communicate their respective messages to passing cars and church attendees. Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star, "Ideologies clash at Carmel church amid protests over statements made by suspended pastor," 6 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for communicate

Time Traveler

The first known use of communicate was in 1529

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Statistics for communicate

Last Updated

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Communicate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for communicate


How to pronounce communicate (audio)

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

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