copulate

verb

cop·​u·​late ˈkä-pyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce copulate (audio)
copulated; copulating

intransitive verb

: to engage in sexual intercourse
copulation noun
copulatory adjective

Examples of copulate in a Sentence

Some animals have complex mating rituals before they copulate. the time of year when deer in the wild are likely to copulate
Recent Examples on the Web Local folklore holds that copulating on the giant's crotch will help a couple conceive a child, and there is an Iron Age earthwork known as the Trendle at the top of the hill in which the giant has been carved. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 8 Jan. 2024 Fasel and his colleagues observed 93 instances of the bats copulating, mostly in videos shot by Jeucken. Lori Youmshajekian, Scientific American, 21 Nov. 2023 Suttree, published in 1979, was equally bleak, though also darkly funny, with one passage involving a kid who gets arrested after copulating with every watermelon in a farmer’s patch. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 13 June 2023 The short answer is that the Copenhagen Zoo has a no-contraceptives policy (and animals like to copulate). Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 14 Feb. 2014 While the other males took 3.3 to 3.9 seconds to start copulating, the glucose-avoidant males began within 2.2 seconds, before the females could sense the bad taste of the glucose. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Apr. 2023 Out of 52 pairings of mice, there were no pregnancies among mice that copulated within the 2.5-hour window, Balbach said. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 16 Feb. 2023 So help me God, the grownups will copulate. Raven Smith, Vogue, 3 Feb. 2022 The males thrash around trying to copulate, covering themselves with pollen. Kristin Ohlson, Discover Magazine, 2 Jan. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'copulate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin copulatus, past participle of copulare to join, from copula — see copula

First Known Use

1630, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of copulate was in 1630

Dictionary Entries Near copulate

Cite this Entry

“Copulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/copulate. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

copulate

verb
cop·​u·​late ˈkäp-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce copulate (audio)
copulated; copulating
: to engage in sexual intercourse
copulation noun
copulatory adjective

Medical Definition

copulate

intransitive verb
cop·​u·​late ˈkäp-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce copulate (audio)
copulated; copulating
1
: to engage in sexual intercourse
2
of gametes : to fuse permanently compare conjugate sense 1
copulation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on copulate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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