eman·​ci·​pate | \ i-ˈman(t)-sə-ˌpāt How to pronounce emancipate (audio) \
emancipated; emancipating

Definition of emancipate

transitive verb

1 : to free from restraint, control, or the power of another especially : to free from bondage
2 : to release from parental care and responsibility and make sui juris
3 : to free from any controlling influence (such as traditional mores or beliefs)

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Other Words from emancipate

emancipator \ i-​ˈman(t)-​sə-​ˌpā-​tər How to pronounce emancipate (audio) \ noun
emancipatory \ i-​ˈman(t)-​sə-​pə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce emancipate (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for emancipate

free, release, liberate, emancipate, manumit mean to set loose from restraint or constraint. free implies a usually permanent removal from whatever binds, confines, entangles, or oppresses. freed the animals from their cages release suggests a setting loose from confinement, restraint, or a state of pressure or tension, often without implication of permanent liberation. released his anger on a punching bag liberate stresses particularly the resulting state of liberty. liberated their country from the tyrant emancipate implies the liberation of a person from subjection or domination. labor-saving devices emancipated us from household drudgery manumit implies emancipation from slavery. the document manumitted the slaves

Examples of emancipate in a Sentence

He felt the only way to emancipate himself from his parents was to move away. under the cover of darkness animal rights activists emancipated the inhabitants of the mink ranch
Recent Examples on the Web Millions of Black Americans won their freedom over the course of the next several years after the proclamation, often by crossing Union lines to emancipate themselves. Washington Post, 19 June 2021 More and more conservative thinkers began thinking of, and writing about, social and economic liberalism as two sides of the same coin, both aiming to emancipate the individual from the traditional ties that once bound one person to another. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 15 June 2021 Bitcoin, devised as a tool to emancipate the masses from corporate and state power, now depends on the imprimatur of the institutions it is meant to take down. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, 15 Apr. 2021 These land cessions were cemented in the Treaties of 1866, in which the five slaveholding nations also agreed to emancipate their slaves, give them all the rights of tribal citizens and provide them with land allotments. Alaina E. Roberts, Time, 14 Apr. 2021 France became the second European nation (500 years after Poland) to emancipate its Jewish population. The Economist, 10 Apr. 2021 These revelations have helped emancipate Neanderthals from the longstanding perception that the early humans were primitive brutes, a myth partly rooted in racist ideology. New York Times, 1 Mar. 2021 This conversation led to the message received by a small interracial band of abolitionists known as The Vigilance Committee, who wanted to act even faster and emancipate Johnson in Philadelphia. Carrie Hagen, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Nov. 2020 In 2020, the computer and the internet are fully emancipated from the basement. Clay Chandler, Fortune, 14 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emancipate.' 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 emancipate

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for emancipate

Latin emancipatus, past participle of emancipare, from e- + mancipare to transfer ownership of, from mancip-, manceps contractor, from manus hand + capere to take — more at manual, heave entry 1

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Time Traveler for emancipate

Time Traveler

The first known use of emancipate was in 1613

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Statistics for emancipate

Last Updated

27 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Emancipate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emancipate. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for emancipate



English Language Learners Definition of emancipate

formal : to free (someone) from someone else's control or power


eman·​ci·​pate | \ i-ˈman-sə-ˌpāt How to pronounce emancipate (audio) \
emancipated; emancipating

Kids Definition of emancipate

: to set free from control or slavery : liberate

Other Words from emancipate

emancipator \ -​ˌpā-​tər \ noun


transitive verb
eman·​ci·​pate | \ i-ˈman-sə-ˌpāt How to pronounce emancipate (audio) \
emancipated; emancipating

Legal Definition of emancipate

1 : to free from restraint, control, or the power of another especially : to free from bondage emancipated the slaves — compare enfranchise
2 : to release from the care, responsibility, and control of one's parents — compare age of majority, legal age

Note: The circumstances under which a minor may become emancipated vary from state to state. In many states, however, the marriage of a minor results in his or her emancipation.

More from Merriam-Webster on emancipate

Nglish: Translation of emancipate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of emancipate for Arabic Speakers


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