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

There’s a passage about how in Ireland people communicate love but don’t express it. Amy Sutherland,, "An ‘Idealist’ finds the time to read, on a plane or in the pool," 5 Sep. 2019 Anyone curious about how books communicate to us may be enthralled by Price’s intelligent look at what print has meant to the world. David Silverberg, Washington Post, "Looking at books as more than just vessels for information or entertainment," 5 Sep. 2019 This kind of research can tell us more about how different species communicate and interact within their multi-species communities. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Squirrels listen in on bird chatter to decide if they're safe, and that's scientifically significant," 5 Sep. 2019 Review your emergency plan with your immediate family and relatives farther away, so that everyone knows what to do and how to communicate with each other. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "Use this Countdown as the Best Way to Prepare for a Hurricane," 30 Aug. 2019 Choi said the company would communicate with employees who work at the building about arrangements for Friday. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Fire breaks out at Boeing office building in Seattle," 29 Aug. 2019 Parents can make a difference through warm encouragement and a positive outlook and by communicating high expectations to children. Daniel Hamlin, The Conversation, "Should parents help their kids with homework?," 29 Aug. 2019 That follows edicts from Tri-County and the Colorado Department of Public Health, which were later communicated by the band and promoter AEG Presents Rocky Mountains. John Wenzel, The Know, "Prairie dogs, parking and the plague: What you need to know before seeing Phish in Denver this weekend," 28 Aug. 2019 The doctor relies on empathy to communicate support and interest in what the patient has to say. Maria Danilova, Harper's magazine, "Alternative Medicine," 28 Aug. 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

8 Sep 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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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