ide·​ate | \ ˈī-dē-ˌāt How to pronounce ideate (audio) \
ideated; ideating

Definition of ideate

transitive verb

: to form an idea or conception of

intransitive verb

: to form an idea

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See the Origin of Ideate

Like idea and ideal, ideate comes from the Greek verb idein, which means "to see." The sight-thought connection came courtesy of Plato, the Greek philosopher who based his theory of the ideal on the concept of seeing, claiming that a true philosopher can see the essential nature of things and can recognize their ideal form or state. Early uses of idea, ideal, and ideate in English were associated with Platonic philosophy; idea meant "an archetype" or "a standard of perfection," ideal meant "existing as an archetype," and ideate referred to forming Platonic ideas. But though ideate is tied to ancient philosophy, the word itself is a modern concoction, relatively speaking. It first appeared in English only about 400 years ago.

Examples of ideate in a Sentence

the psychotic would repeatedly ideate the act of committing murder, and eventually he came to believe his own delusions
Recent Examples on the Web The conversations and ideating that happen at work are so inspiring and, of course, spill over into my personal life. Café Appliances, Bon Appétit, "How One Bon Appétit Editor Makes Dinner Guests Feel Like Family," 26 Nov. 2019 Take a good look at your calendar for the next 30 days, and schedule in time to ideate and collaborate. Venus Australis,, "Your Horoscope This Week," 23 June 2019 Islands have always been ripe for troublemakers and hijinks — actual pirate captains, not just imaginary ones ideated in suburbia. Alison Fields, Longreads, "On, In, or Near the Sea: A Book List," 25 July 2019 Created by Complex in 2016, the festival is another opportunity for brands, influencers, and the public to collaborate and ideate, but mostly to eat, shop, and enjoy performances. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "The Best Of Beauty From Complexcon 2019," 22 July 2019 She and former Senior Director of Garden Development Mark Bullitt would pour hours into ideating the perfect Village landscape a whole six months before her team could get their boots on the ground in the Arboretum's Pecan Grove. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "The Dallas Arboretum Uses 100,000 Pumpkins to Build Its Annual Fall Village," 12 Oct. 2018 In practice, this means ideating, designing, and manufacturing offerings that are all but absent in the beauty space, like highlighters and bronzers that work for all skin tones, especially those on the darker end of the spectrum. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "Beauty Bakerie CEO Cashmere Nicole Opens Up About the Inclusive Indie Makeup Brand's Massive Success," 30 Apr. 2018 While there’s still very little known about the brand, on purpose, the aesthetics and story are inanely compelling, politically important, and perhaps socially radical for the city in which the clothes are ideated. Mathias Rosenzweig, Billboard, "In The Heart of Political Ukraine, Kiev Clothing Anonymously Explores Gay Eastern Europe," 8 Aug. 2017

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

1610, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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The first known use of ideate was in 1610

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Cite this Entry

“Ideate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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