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

Police released two photos of the man in an effort to generate tips from the public, and he was taken into custody Friday night. Fox News, "Person of interest in custody in women's deaths in Detroit," 8 June 2019 All of those topics generated more buzz than the basketball itself. Mike Finger,, "As Warriors go haywire, Kerr turns to inner Pop," 7 June 2019 The mere concept has been enough to generate coverage from a wide variety of publications including Forbes, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, which have covered the company with varying levels of credulity. NBC News, "Is this pogo stick rental app for real? Does it even matter?," 7 June 2019 Cotton Citizen's celebrity following certainly helps generate buzz. Glamour, "This $80 Tie-Dye Tank Top Might Already Be the Fashion Item for Summer 2019," 6 June 2019 Running back David Montgomery has generated the most buzz. Brad Biggs,, "Bears Q&A: Who is in line for a contract extension after this season? Was Gerald McCoy an option for the Bears? What's going on at tight end?," 5 June 2019 One Chernobyl tour agency reported a 40 percent rise in their tourism booking sales since the airing of the popular series, while Harris is already generating Emmy buzz for his depth-defying role., "How Chernobyl, the Biggest Nuclear Disaster in History, Still Affects Ukraine 33 Years Later," 4 June 2019 Revenue generated from the Timken lease will be deposited in the city’s general fund — and not in the city’s regional parks fund, as was requested at the March 6 Land Use & Housing Committee, where the agreement was first considered. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Timken Museum lease agreement sets precedent for Balboa Park institutions," 4 June 2019 The film, directed by Rupert Goold, is set to be released this fall and is already (predictably) generating Oscar buzz, particularly for Zellweger's portrayal of Garland. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Renee Zellweger Is Unrecognizable as Judy Garland in the First 'Judy' Trailer," 11 May 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

17 Jun 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

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