enu·mer·ate | \i-ˈn(y)ü-mə-ˌrāt \
enumerated; enumerating

Definition of enumerate 

transitive verb

1 : to ascertain the number of : count

2 : to specify one after another : list

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Other Words from enumerate

enumeration \i-ˌn(y)ü-mə-ˈrā-shən \ noun
enumerative \i-ˈn(y)ü-mə-ˌrā-tiv, -ˈn(y)üm-rə-, -ˈn(y)ü-mə-rə- \ adjective

The Meaning of Enumerate Gets Specific

In a census year, the U.S. government attempts to enumerate every single citizen of the country—a task that, even in the modern era of technology, isn't truly possible. Medical tests often require the enumeration of bacteria, viruses, or other organisms to determine the progress of a disease or the effectiveness of a medication. Despite its numer- root, you don't have to use numbers when enumerating. For students of government and law, the "enumerated powers" are the specific responsibilities of the Congress, as listed in the U.S. Constitution; these are the only powers that Congress has, a fact that the Tenth Amendment makes even more clearly.

Examples of enumerate in a Sentence

Let me enumerate my reasons for doing this. I proceeded to enumerate the reasons why I would be justified in filing a lawsuit for negligence.

Recent Examples on the Web

If President Donald Trump is around, critics will enumerate his myriad and sometimes serious faults and then outdo him. Jay Ambrose, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Brett Kavanaugh an excellent Supreme Court pick," 11 July 2018 China’s vast, protean economy is certainly difficult to enumerate. The Economist, "China’s statistics are bad. Many criticisms of them are worse," 7 July 2018 Implement strong transparency and accountability measures, that include enumerating which law enforcement agencies and companies supporting law enforcement agencies are using Amazon services, and how. James Vincent, The Verge, "Amazon employees protest sale of facial recognition software to police," 22 June 2018 Borenstein and Pappano suggest that the plan, which enumerates the institutions’ strengths, weakness and opportunities, may be approved by the board as soon as the end of this month. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Long Wharf Sexual Harassment Report Finds No Internal Wrongdoing," 14 June 2018 Whatever your view of Second Amendment jurisprudence, Trump’s flippant comments showed a startling indifference for foundational rights that are enumerated in the Fourth, Fifth and 14th amendments. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s rejection of due process for gun owners points to his disdain for the rule of law," 1 Mar. 2018 Peterson’s philosophy — enumerated in TED talks, YouTube videos for his 1.2 million subscribers, and self-help books (his latest venture, 12 Rules for Life, topped several best-seller charts) — is deceptively simple. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "The religious hunger that drives Jordan Peterson’s fandom," 1 June 2018 That statement loosely enumerated what remained on the club's to-do list as of that time. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Analysis: FC Cincinnati has much to gain by joining MLS in 2019 before Miami, Nashville," 12 May 2018 Consider the one-and-done recommendation, the first enumerated in the Commission’s report. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Does college basketball want the change it says it seeks?," 25 Apr. 2018

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

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for enumerate

Latin enumeratus, past participle of enumerare, from e- + numerare to count, from numerus number

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Statistics for enumerate

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enumerate

The first known use of enumerate was in 1616

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More Definitions for enumerate



English Language Learners Definition of enumerate

: to name (things) one after another in a list


enu·mer·ate | \i-ˈnü-mə-ˌrāt, -ˈnyü-\
enumerated; enumerating

Kids Definition of enumerate

2 : to name one after another : list

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Comments on enumerate

What made you want to look up enumerate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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