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 Want to receive Cavs Insider texts and communicate directly with me? Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Who could Cleveland Cavaliers target in free agency this offseason? Hey, Chris!," 14 May 2020 The hospital networks stood on the brink of replicating the fatal confusion of Sept. 11, 2001, when the police and fire departments responding to the attacks at the World Trade Center did not work together or communicate, costing many lives. New York Times, "How the Chaos at Elmhurst Hospital Exposed Health Care’s Fiefdoms," 14 May 2020 Boris Johnson will unveil a new virus alert system, similar to how the government currently communicates terror threat levels, in Sunday’s address to Britain that will set out some of the conditions for removing restrictions on the economy. James Ludden,, "Boris Johnson to Set Out Covid-19 Warning System," 12 May 2020 Clearly communicate with clients and staff what procedures must be followed during each client visit. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "CBON Group Offers Best Practices For Salons Reopening During The Pandemic," 4 May 2020 For all of his deficiencies, Biden’s misfortunes have given him years of experience communicating and publicly working through grief. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Democrats are Losing at Political Rhetoric," 2 May 2020 In the absence of sounder science more soundly communicated, the public will act upon its own understandable anxiety and take signs of abatement as signs of hope, or even invitations to begin rebuilding their lives, livelihoods, and businesses. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "The Lockdown Dilemma," 1 May 2020 That will mean not just communicating safety provisions, either federal guidelines or how private businesses are protecting workers and customers, but thinking about how to ease workers back into work during a slow recovery. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "More jobs misery ahead as states start to lift coronavirus restrictions," 30 Apr. 2020 The injured cells release signaling proteins called cytokines that communicate with other parts of the body to activate an immune response against the foreign invaders. Sara Goudarzi, Scientific American, "How a Warming Climate Could Affect the Spread of Diseases Similar to COVID-19," 29 Apr. 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

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Communicate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 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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