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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

On July 20, 2019, the observatory is hosting a celebration with bands, food trucks and a showing of the video footage of the first moon landing narrated by Neil Armstrong (recorded during his 2012 visit to Flagstaff). Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "These Arizona places were critical to the Apollo 11 moon landing. Here's what you should see.," 28 June 2019 In February, the company released a 90-second ad, narrated by Nike endorser Serena Williams, featuring dozens of women breaking sports stereotypes and gender barriers., "Nike plans to close on-site daycare, triggering employee backlash," 7 June 2019 For example, the chapter narrated by the waitress at the Korean restaurant was a perfect bittersweet amuse-bouche. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "'The Sun Is Also a Star' Is the Perfect Beach Book," 3 June 2019 An augmented-reality app and podcast miniseries narrated by Furstenberg herself. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "Apple's New Statue of Liberty App Offers an Amazing AR Experience," 17 May 2019 In February, Nike featured Hammon in an ad — narrated by Serena Williams — that honored women who have defied outdated cultural stigmas to play against men, run the Boston Marathon, box, dunk or fence in a hijab. Nick Talbot,, "Best person for any NBA coaching job? It might be the Spurs’ Becky Hammon," 13 June 2019 For environmentalist Casi Callaway of Mobile Baykeeper, being selected for a new honor means getting her story narrated by Alec Baldwin for a potential worldwide audience., "Mobile’s Casi Callaway honored as ‘Waterkeeper Warrior’," 13 June 2019 The show is full of pauses and quiet close-ups (mostly of June, who narrates). Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "Some grim news about ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: It’s getting boring," 4 June 2019 So in the short novel that followed, The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles (1958), an anonymous Bassani alter ego narrates in first person the story of Athos Fadigati, who arrived in Ferrara from Venice shortly after the First World War to practice medicine. Tim Parks, Harper's magazine, "Behind the High Walls," 10 Feb. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about narrate

Statistics for narrate

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for narrate

The first known use of narrate was in 1656

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!