cor·​re·​late | \ˈkȯr-ə-lət, ˈkär-, -ˌlāt\

Definition of correlate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : either of two things so related that one directly implies or is complementary to the other (such as husband and wife) brain size as a correlate of intelligence

2 : a phenomenon that accompanies another phenomenon, is usually parallel to it, and is related in some way to it … precise electrical correlates of conscious thinking in the human brain …— Bayard Webster


cor·​re·​late | \ˈkȯr-ə-ˌlāt, ˈkär-\
correlated; correlating

Definition of correlate (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to bear reciprocal or mutual relations : correspond If two things correlate, a change in one thing results in a similar or opposite change in the other thing.

transitive verb

1a : to establish a mutual or reciprocal relation between correlate activities in the lab and the field

b : to show correlation or a causal relationship between There is no evidence correlating height and intelligence.

2 : to present or set forth so as to show relationship He correlates the findings of the scientists, the psychologists, and the mystics.— Eugene Exman

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from correlate


correlate adjective


correlatable \ˈkȯr-​ə-​ˌlā-​tə-​bəl, ˈkär-​ \ adjective
correlator \ˈkȯr-​ə-​ˌlā-​tər, ˈkär-​ \ noun

Synonyms for correlate

Synonyms: Noun

complement, supplement

Synonyms: Verb

associate, connect, identify, link, relate

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of correlate in a Sentence


brain size as a correlate of intelligence the often uneasy relationship between the employer and his correlate, the employee


There is no evidence correlating height and intelligence. a demanding father who always correlated success with hard work
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Not surprisingly, the correlate of this rejection of diversity among nations is often a disdain for diversity of viewpoints at home, in one’s own country. Yoram Hazony, WSJ, "The Liberty of Nations," 24 Aug. 2018 Other GWASs have asked questions like: What are the genetic correlates of diabetes risk? Brian Resnick, Vox, "How scientists are trying to predict your future with your genes," 23 Aug. 2018 While still in training, many report poor quality of life, and suffer from depression and psychological distress, all correlates of burnout. Timothy J. Hoff, STAT, "Medical training programs need to care about physician burnout. Should the rest of us?," 21 June 2018 But, to zoom out a bit, their endeavor seemed to be more like tracing the essential correlates of a skill. Zach Schonbrun, New York Times, "How Do Athletes’ Brains Control Their Movements?," 13 Apr. 2018 Harris said that north correlates with earth, east with air, and west with water. Melanie Savage, Courant Community, "Goodwin Provides Programming And Recreation Year-Round," 28 Mar. 2018 Depression and other mental illnesses are clear correlates of suicide, but only a small proportion of the millions of Americans diagnosed with depression will attempt it. The Economist, "How and where growing numbers of Americans are taking their own lives," 28 Mar. 2018 In particular, limited economic development remains a strong correlate of democratic breakdown. Jason Brownlee, Washington Post, "There’s little evidence that dictators are toppling democracies," 1 June 2017 Soon that perturbation finds a sudden and disturbing practical correlate. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Personal Shopper” and the Misunderstood Art of Kristen Stewart," 15 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Over time, data about weather can be correlated with information routinely collected on events such as water main breaks and power outages to help the city anticipate the impacts of certain conditions. Emily Strasser, Curbed, "A secret city opens up," 8 Aug. 2018 Completing four years of math in high school, as well as physics, chemistry and biology is correlated with later success in science, mathematics and engineering in college. Bonnie J. Dunbar, Smithsonian, "An Astronaut Reflects on Sally Ride’s Legacy for Women in STEM," 18 June 2018 The strongest activity correlated to where each participant subjectively perceived the event boundaries to be, irrespective of the film editor's intent. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "What watching Forrest Gump tells us about how we store memories," 18 Oct. 2018 Tilting your head 60 degrees forward—imagine looking down at your phone in your lap with your chin almost touching your chest—can correlate with an extra 60 pounds of force on your neck. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "The Right Way to Use Your Phone So You Don’t Wreck Your Body," 27 Sep. 2018 Many of these tags are mood-related, and over 14,000 English words from these tags were given two scale ratings correlating to how negative or positive a word is, and also how calm or energetic a word is in order to train the system. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Deezer researchers developed an AI system that detects a song’s musical mood," 23 Sep. 2018 In fact, the amount of glitter each character wears is loosely correlated to their level of wealth. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "How Makeup Can Make You Look Rich, According to the Crazy Rich Asians Makeup Artist," 22 Aug. 2018 Looking at the the firefly population is a window into the health of the environment as a whole, since fireflies’ population density is directly correlated with the availability of healthy habitat, notes Clemson University’s Firefly Project. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways to Attract Fireflies to Your Yard," 19 July 2018 Just because two things are correlated doesn’t mean that one causes the other, but Wielgus posited a firm connection. New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?," 5 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of correlate


1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1742, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for correlate


back-formation from correlation


see correlate entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about correlate

Statistics for correlate

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for correlate

The first known use of correlate was in 1643

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for correlate



English Language Learners Definition of correlate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: either one of two things that are closely connected or correlated with each other



English Language Learners Definition of correlate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have a close connection with something : to have a correlation to something

: to show that a close connection exists between (two or more things)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on correlate

What made you want to look up correlate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!