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

According to comments from close observers, this year Holly emancipated her cubs, who will spend their first season foraging for their own meals. Jeff Parrott, Anchorage Daily News, "The Katmai bear cams are back online: Watch the live stream here," 26 June 2019 The song’s renown gave Howe fame and the power to emancipate herself from Chev’s control. Elaine Showalter, The New York Review of Books, "Whitman, Melville, & Julia Ward Howe: A Tale of Three Bicentennials," 27 May 2019 In this case, the advances in computer science pioneered at Google serve to emancipate the world from Google’s silos. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "Will Bitcoin Save Us From Google?," 15 July 2018 Meanwhile, Veronica basically emancipated herself from her father and came away with a new business endeavor in the process: Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Here's What's Going to Happen This Season of Riverdale," 10 Oct. 2018 Cheryl became an honorary serpent and coupled up with Toni, while legally emancipating herself from her mother and taking control of Thistlehouse. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Here's What's Going to Happen This Season of Riverdale," 10 Oct. 2018 Upon her release, following expert advice, Drew, then only 14, moved out of her mother's home and legally emancipated herself. Erin Bried, Good Housekeeping, "Drew Barrymore's Journey From Child Star to Fearless Entrepreneur," 12 Apr. 2016 At 16, Christa met 17-year-old Tina Katusky, who said Christa was emancipated by the state that year. Laura Crimaldi, BostonGlobe.com, "After a hard past, she had found joy," 14 Jan. 2018 The essential theme in modern Iranian history is a populace seeking to emancipate itself from tyranny—monarchal and Islamist. Reuel Marc Gerecht And, WSJ, "Don’t Fear Regime Change in Iran," 11 June 2018

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

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Statistics for emancipate

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for emancipate

The first known use of emancipate was in 1613

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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.

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