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

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 Hence his desire to ideate his own brand began to grow. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 17 Apr. 2024 And this tool allows people to ideate and create in new ways. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Apr. 2024 The flexibility to ideate and run with new ideas breeds proactivity, an important driving force for promotion. Alan Price, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 While the programming strategy and core values categories implore students to reflect on their design choices and cooperation, an innovation project requires students to ideate a solution for a real-world problem. Thomas Goodwin Smith, Baltimore Sun, 30 Jan. 2024 The cause for this was ideated when, after working at a university, Green saw an uptick in college dropout rates. Pauleanna Reid, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 The Matrix and Girls Trip actress' Worthy book tour continued Monday with a stop on the beloved morning talk show, where cohost Kelly Ripa revealed that the memoir's opening words about suicidal ideating brought her to tears. Joey Nolfi,, 16 Oct. 2023 The video and larger campaign were ideated and produced by R&R Partners, the brand agency of record for the LVCVA. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 5 Feb. 2024 The possibilities for using this technology to ideate, problem solve and improve processes across industries are endless. Lee Henderson, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ideate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1610, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of ideate was in 1610


Dictionary Entries Near ideate

Cite this Entry

“Ideate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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