ed·​u·​cate ˈe-jə-ˌkāt How to pronounce educate (audio)
educated; educating

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to educate a person or thing
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Example Sentences

Parents trust schools to educate their children. The job of our public schools is to educate.
Recent Examples on the Web Dias said that for years high turnover has plagued Connecticut’s underfunded urban districts, where teachers educate the highest-need students and earn salaries $20,000-$40,000 less than colleagues in wealthier towns. Alison Cross, Hartford Courant, 22 Nov. 2022 What used to be Parsley Elementary is more than 80% white and stands down the street from a row of multi-million dollar houses, while schools only a few miles away educate mostly minority students from lower-income families. Neena Hagen, USA TODAY, 10 Nov. 2022 Additionally, only 20 states require schools to educate students about the Holocaust, four of which passed laws in 2021, according to the Jewish Virtual Library. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 3 Nov. 2022 While the state funding formula attempts to account for the money needed to adequately educate EL students, advocates say funding still often falls short, especially in rural districts that struggle to fund schools. al, 19 Oct. 2022 While the state funding formula attempts to account for the money needed to adequately educate EL students, advocates say funding still often falls short, especially in rural districts that struggle to fund schools. Rebecca Griesbach, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 Oct. 2022 Arizonans deserve significant investments in the public K-12 system, as well as policies that do not tie the hands of our teachers from being able to educate our students based on the facts. Sam Kmack, The Arizona Republic, 15 Oct. 2022 Stanford Libraries acquired Bing’s archives in 2020, as part of the center’s major initiative to collect, preserve, exhibit and educate students about Asian American art. Carol Pogash, New York Times, 12 Oct. 2022 While Hamilton Southeastern understands those individuals communicating a microaggression might not intend to express bias, the school recognizes the responsibility to educate students on the reality of bias perceptions. Joshua Q. Nelson, Fox News, 16 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of educate was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near educate

Cite this Entry

“Educate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



ed·​u·​cate ˈej-ə-ˌkāt How to pronounce educate (audio)
educated; educating
: to provide schooling for
: to develop the mind and morals of especially by instruction

More from Merriam-Webster on educate

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