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

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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: Verb

associate, connect, identify, link, relate

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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

Retail sales have picked up—but they are poorly correlated with overall consumer spending. The Economist, "The economy has slowed to a standstill, largely because of Brexit," 21 June 2018 Most Second Amendment claims fail because of Heller itself The merit, or lack thereof, of a Second Amendment challenge obviously correlates with success or failure. Joseph Blocher And Eric Ruben, Vox, "The Second Amendment allows for more gun control than you think," 14 June 2018 In a study contained in the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast, released Wednesday, UCLA found that higher median rent and home prices are strongly correlated with more people living on the streets or in shelters. Andrew Khouri,, "High cost of housing drives up homeless rates, UCLA study indicates," 13 June 2018 According to Ava, there have also been studies into how tracking your resting pulse rate can correlate with predicting a potential fertile window. Maria Mercedes Lara,, "Can a Wearable Fertility Tracker Actually Help You Get Pregnant? We Put It to the Test," 23 Apr. 2018 All those patients had died, but a retrospective analysis showed their suPAR levels eerily correlated with disease progression: Higher levels were associated with an earlier death. Stephen S. Hall, Science | AAAS, "What's your risk of kidney disease, heart attack, or diabetes? A single molecule can tell," 19 Apr. 2018 There may not be another player in the country who's individual efficiency is so closely correlated with his team's success. Bill Landis,, "Ohio State basketball daily nuggets: Keita Bates-Diop's green light; Chris Holtmann talks state of college hoops," 22 Feb. 2018 The millionaire population is highly correlated to the financial markets. Kathleen Pender,, "Dozens of millionaires fled California after 2012 tax increase, study says," 6 July 2018 For this relationship to exist within the dark matter framework, the amounts of dark matter and visible matter in galaxies must be fine-tuned such that they are tightly correlated themselves and galactic rotation speeds track with either one. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Universe Is Not a Simulation, but We Can Now Simulate It," 16 June 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.

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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

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Learn More about correlate

Phrases Related to correlate

be correlated with

Statistics for correlate

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Time Traveler for correlate

The first known use of correlate was in 1643

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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)

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