verb ed·u·cate \ ˈe-jə-ˌkāt \
|Updated on: 13 Aug 2018

Definition of educate

educated; educating
1 a : to provide schooling for
  • chose to educate their children at home
b : to train by formal instruction and supervised practice especially in a skill, trade, or profession
2 a : to develop mentally, morally, or aesthetically especially by instruction
b : to provide with information : inform
  • educating themselves about changes in the industry
3 : to persuade or condition to feel, believe, or act in a desired way
  • educate the public to support our position
: to educate a person or thing

Examples of educate in a Sentence

  1. Parents trust schools to educate their children.

  2. The job of our public schools is to educate.

Recent Examples of educate from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of educate

Middle English, to rear, from Latin educatus, past participle of educare to rear, educate, from educere to lead forth — more at educe

Synonym Discussion of educate

teach, instruct, educate, train, discipline, school mean to cause to acquire knowledge or skill. teach applies to any manner of imparting information or skill so that others may learn.
    • taught us a lot about our planet
instruct suggests methodical or formal teaching.
    • instructs raw recruits in military drill
educate implies development of the mind.
    • more things than formal schooling serve to educate a person
train stresses instruction and drill with a specific end in view.
    • trained foreign pilots to operate the new aircraft
discipline implies training in habits of order and precision.
    • a disciplined mind
school implies training or disciplining especially in what is hard to master.
    • schooled the horse in five gaits

EDUCATE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of educate for English Language Learners

  • : to teach (someone) especially in a school, college, or university

  • : to give (someone) information about something : to train (someone) to do something

EDUCATE Defined for Kids


verb ed·u·cate \ ˈe-jə-ˌkāt \

Definition of educate for Students

educated; educating
1 : to provide schooling for
  • Her parents are educating her at home.
2 : to develop the mind and morals of especially by formal instruction : teach
  • Teachers work hard to educate their students.
3 : to provide with necessary information
  • The public should be educated about how to save energy.


\ˈe-jə-ˌkā-tər\ noun

Word Root of educate

The Latin word ducere, meaning “to lead,” and its form ductus give us the roots duc and duct. Words from the Latin ducere have something to do with leading. A duct is a tube that leads from one place or organ to another. To educate, or teach, is to lead to knowledge. To induce is to lead into a particular state.

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