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 Working remotely, raising a family, and maintaining our inherent social nature leaves little time to ideate, design, plan, organize, cook, pour, serve, and ultimately - host. Brad Japhe, Forbes, 8 May 2021 Everyone comes together to ideate in the POD, and the PODs bring together all the marketing functions. Kimberly A. Whitler, Forbes, 8 May 2021 This creates space for people to think and do, ideate and find their inspiration. Shannon Brooks, Forbes, 5 Apr. 2021 Gift your foodie a fun way to ideate new meals with these foodie dice. Cnn Underscored Staff, CNN Underscored, 9 Dec. 2020 The conversations and ideating that happen at work are so inspiring and, of course, spill over into my personal life. Café Appliances, Bon Appétit, 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,, 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, 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, 22 July 2019

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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Dictionary Entries Near ideate

ideas of reference



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Cite this Entry

“Ideate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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