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 emancipator (audio) \ noun
emancipatory \ i-​ˈman(t)-​sə-​pə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce emancipatory (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 In 2020, the computer and the internet are fully emancipated from the basement. Clay Chandler, Fortune, "Big Tech’s coronavirus “contact tracing” apps will only work if users buy in," 14 Apr. 2020 Hay may have been emancipated by the band’s 1986 dissolution; escaping radio pop for the broader amplitude of acoustic folk. oregonlive, "Live music in Portland: March blooms with 23 must-see concerts," 27 Feb. 2020 One artifact representing their story is a mirror that belonged to Case Whitney, a slave who emancipated himself by volunteering to fight for the Continental Army. BostonGlobe.com, "CONCORD — For decades, visitors have flocked to the Concord Museum to learn about the town’s fabled heritage: the early Colonial settlers, the Minutemen, the Transcendentalists.," 1 Nov. 2019 The opening sequence of Birds of Prey has officially been emancipated. Mary Sollosi, EW.com, "New Birds of Prey posters released as fresh footage debuts at CCXP in Brazil," 6 Dec. 2019 In the years after Abraham Lincoln, the America that emancipated its enslaved population endured Reconstruction and a century of institutionalized white supremacy. Jon Meacham, Time, "The Impeachment Inquiry Is About More Than Donald Trump — It’s About Who We Are as Americans," 7 Nov. 2019 Noise, having emancipated itself from the human hand, is becoming autonomous and inexhaustible. Bianca Bosker, The Atlantic, "Why Everything Is Getting Louder," 8 Oct. 2019 To be antiracist is to emancipate oneself from the dueling consciousness. David Montgomery, Washington Post, "The Anti-Racist Revelations of Ibram X. Kendi," 14 Oct. 2019 But what happens when such women, emancipated by employment opportunities that previously didn’t exist, and motivated by dangerous, sometimes deadly working conditions, decide to fight the powers that be? Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Made in Bangladesh': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 6 Sep. 2019

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

25 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Emancipate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emancipate. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for emancipate


How to pronounce emancipate (audio)

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.

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