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

Definition of copulate

intransitive verb

: to engage in sexual intercourse

Other Words from copulate

copulation \ ˌkä-​pyə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce copulate (audio) \ noun
copulatory \ ˈkä-​pyə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce copulate (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for copulate


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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 In the communal web, female Philoponella prominens rarely leave, whereas their male counterparts venture to other webs to mate and can copulate with a female spider up to six times before moving onto another one, Zhang said. Megan Marples, CNN, 26 Apr. 2022 As a couple, we were finished, though still copulating. Matthew Klam, The New Yorker, 9 Mar. 2020 These include someone washing a cucumber, copulating wind-up toy rabbits, a phallic fungus, a beaver, the Washington Monument, the pop of a champagne cork, and the sensuous blossoming of a flower. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 30 Dec. 2019 The notorious sculpture depicts Pan, rustic god of the wild, copulating with a she-goat. Christopher Knight,, 3 July 2019 Males will try to copulate not only with females, but also other males. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, 29 June 2019 A few weeks ago the pair, named Monty and Rose, began copulating, said Giometti. Morgan Greene,, 14 June 2019 Even with the copulating couple caught on camera, the attention is all on the child's response to the spectacle. Marlisse Cepeda, Woman's Day, 26 Jan. 2015 In New York, detectives have turned their attention to a student-actress' accusation she was forced to orally copulate the producer in 2004 and another actress' allegation of rape in 2010. Richard Winton,, 20 Mar. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'copulate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of copulate

1630, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for copulate

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

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Time Traveler for copulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of copulate was in 1630

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Dictionary Entries Near copulate



copulation path

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Statistics for copulate

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Copulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for copulate


intransitive verb
cop·​u·​late | \ ˈkäp-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce copulate (audio) \
copulated; copulating

Medical Definition of copulate

1 : to engage in sexual intercourse
2 of gametes : to fuse permanently — compare conjugate sense 1

Other Words from copulate

copulation \ ˌkäp-​yə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce copulate (audio) \ noun
copulatory \ ˈkäp-​yə-​lə-​ˌtōr-​ē, -​ˌtȯr-​ How to pronounce copulate (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on copulate

Nglish: Translation of copulate for Spanish Speakers


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