gen·​er·​ate | \ ˈje-nə-ˌrāt How to pronounce generate (audio) \
generated; generating

Definition of generate

transitive verb

1 : to bring into existence: such as
b : to originate by a vital, chemical, or physical process : produce generate electricity
2 : to be the cause of (a situation, action, or state of mind) these stories … generate a good deal of psychological suspenseAtlantic
3 : to define or originate (something, such as a mathematical or linguistic set or structure) by the application of one or more rules or operations especially : to trace out (something, such as a curve) by a moving point or to trace out (a surface) by a moving curve

Examples of generate in a Sentence

windmills used to generate electricity This business should generate a lot of revenue. We hope to generate some new ideas at the meeting. His theories have generated a great deal of interest among other scientists. Her comments have generated a good deal of excitement. They have been unable to generate much support for their proposals. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Carlyle was slow to branch out beyond the volatile private-equity business and into others, such as credit and insurance, that generate the steady, predictable management fees prized by shareholders. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, 8 Aug. 2022 Relative to the amounts of money these leagues generate, the cost of bridging the pay gap can seem small. Doug Feinberg, ajc, 5 Aug. 2022 Crossing routes and option routes, hitches, slants, and speed outs are simple, easy concepts that allow Grant to catch the football in space and generate lots of yards after catch. Lance Reisland, cleveland, 5 Aug. 2022 Relative to the amounts of money these leagues generate, the cost of bridging the pay gap can seem small. Doug Feinberg, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Aug. 2022 The footage is saved for 30 days and used to recover evidence and generate leads in cases, Bailey said. The Indianapolis Star, 4 Aug. 2022 Data protection will define the future of the IoT. Sensors continuously generate and cross-reference data. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 Although the dams are owned and operated by different agencies, Bonneville co-manages them, covering construction debts and operating costs with the proceeds from the electricity that the dams generate. Tony Schick, ProPublica, 4 Aug. 2022 Comic-book characters are worth literally billions of dollars, as seen by Disney buying Marvel Studios for $4 billion in 2009, then seeing Marvel’s stable of superheroes generate several movies with multibillion-dollar grosses. Colin Lodewick, Fortune, 3 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'generate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of generate

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for generate

Latin generatus, past participle of generare, from gener-, genus descent, birth — more at kin

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Time Traveler for generate

Time Traveler

The first known use of generate was in 1509

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Dictionary Entries Near generate

general will


generating station

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Statistics for generate

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Generate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for generate


gen·​er·​ate | \ ˈje-nə-ˌrāt How to pronounce generate (audio) \
generated; generating

Kids Definition of generate

: to cause to come into being Windmills can generate electricity. Her comments have generated excitement.


gen·​er·​ate | \ ˈjen-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce generate (audio) \
generated; generating

Medical Definition of generate

transitive verb

: to bring into existence especially : procreate generate innumerable offspring

intransitive verb

: to produce offspring : propagate

More from Merriam-Webster on generate

Nglish: Translation of generate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of generate for Arabic Speakers


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