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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The wine industry employs almost a tenth of the national workforce and income generated from viticulture forms 15% of the national annual budget. Madeline Roache / Puhoi, Time, "'You’re Not a Person if You Don’t Drink.' How This Tiny European Country Developed the World's Worst Drinking Problem," 29 Aug. 2019 Beneficiaries include several Native American tribes who generate carbon credits from forest management. Bloomberg, The Mercury News, "How California can help save Brazil’s burning rainforests," 28 Aug. 2019 Phillips’ film isn’t designed to kick-start a new series or generate ancillary revenue streams from toys, video games and theme-park rides. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, "In ‘Joker’ the stakes are life and death, and comic book movies may never be the same," 28 Aug. 2019 Nearly all of that sum is album sales, powered almost entirely by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer tied to his summer tour. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "Young Thug Scores First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'So Much Fun'," 25 Aug. 2019 The massive wealth generated from the company is what allowed the Koch brothers to build their network of conservative donors. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, "Who are the Koch brothers and how did David Koch help shape conservatism in America?," 23 Aug. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Hence their levy of 3% on the revenues generated from French users of online platforms and digital advertising. The Economist, "France is giving unilateralism a go," 22 Aug. 2019 The more clicks generated from a user’s shared link to a product on Pinduoduo’s list, the cheaper the good gets. Echo Huang, Quartz, "Here are your four apps to understand China’s grassroots consumers," 21 Aug. 2019 Although some institutions have sworn off investments in fossil fuels, many pension funds, nonprofits, universities and nations depend on the trillions generated from oil sales. Thomas Heath, Washington Post, "Can the spurned oil sector stage a comeback with investors?," 6 Sep. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for generate

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for generate

The first known use of generate was in 1509

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More Definitions for generate



English Language Learners Definition of generate

: to produce (something) or cause (something) to be produced
: to be the cause of or reason for (something, such as interest or excitement)


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on generate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with generate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for generate

Spanish Central: Translation of generate

Nglish: Translation of generate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of generate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on generate

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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