nar·​rate | \ ˈner-ˌāt How to pronounce narrate (audio) , ˈna-ˌrat, na-ˈrāt How to pronounce narrate (audio) \
narrated; narrating

Definition of narrate

transitive verb

: to tell (a story) in detail The children enjoyed the lively manner with which she narrated her life's story. also : to provide spoken commentary for (something, such as a movie or television show) The documentary is narrated by a famous actor.

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Other Words from narrate

narrator \ ˈner-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce narrator (audio) , ˈna-​ˌrā-​ , na-​ˈrā-​ , nə-​ ; ˈner-​ə-​ , ˈna-​rə-​ \ noun

Examples of narrate in a Sentence

The author narrates her story in great detail. a documentary narrated by a famous actor

Recent Examples on the Web

Christ guard my delicate soul from having to narrate fake cunnilingus in real-time, first-person present tense. Max Maller, Chicago Reader, "Firefly Love fails as both a play and a play-by-play," 6 July 2018 But progressive opponents of Bork like the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, and People for the American Way, which hired Hollywood icon Gregory Peck to narrate anti-Bork TV ads, mobilized in a manner that had never been seen before. Will Bunch,, "Borked!! GOP's long game finally bringing nightmare of Robert Bork's America to Supreme Court | Will Bunch," 28 June 2018 The crying woman appears to be in an abusive relationship, and the scrawny singer, his hair in peroxide-blond spikes, seems to narrate her emotions. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018 Essentially, Galliano seeks to narrate the collection in his now-signature British drawl. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "John Galliano’s New Podcast Is Fashion ASMR," 22 June 2018 Parents across the country were told to talk more to their babies, to narrate the ins and outs of their days, in an attempt to expand the child’s language ability, and, ultimately, their academic achievement. Liz Bowie,, "Talking to toddlers: It isn't the words, it is the conversation," 13 Apr. 2018 Huertas, 53, planned to narrate the game for his Vega, 55, who lost his sight in an accident 35 years ago. Matthew Ormseth,, "High Hopes At Frigid Opener For Yard Goats Fans," 6 Apr. 2018 Back and forth, Bean and Mills reach into their separate histories to recall formative events, with the other helping to narrate or slipping into the scene to portray a supporting character. Daryl H. Miller,, "Celebrate love. Orson Bean and Alley Mills show us how in 'Alright Then'," 9 Feb. 2018 The Eagles got Bradley Cooper to narrate their hype video, which was awesome. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Tom Brady shares his own epic hype video just hours before the Patriots' Super Bowl," 4 Feb. 2018

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

1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for narrate

Latin narratus, past participle of narrare, from Latin gnarus knowing; akin to Latin gnoscere, noscere to know — more at know

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Statistics for narrate

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for narrate

The first known use of narrate was in 1656

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More Definitions for narrate



English Language Learners Definition of narrate

: to tell (a story)
: to say the words that are heard as part of (a movie, television show, etc.) and that describe what is being seen : to do the narration for (something)


nar·​rate | \ ˈner-ˌāt How to pronounce narrate (audio) , na-ˈrāt\
narrated; narrating

Kids Definition of narrate

: to tell in full detail Let me narrate the story of my adventure.

Other Words from narrate

narrator \ ˈner-​ˌā-​tər , na-​ˈrā-​ \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on narrate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with narrate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for narrate

Spanish Central: Translation of narrate

Nglish: Translation of narrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of narrate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on narrate

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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