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

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.
ˈner-ˌā-tər How to pronounce narrate (audio)

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 As Iger narrated a video describing the company’s core operations and future plans, the message was crystal clear: Who else at this fraught moment for media is equipped to run the Walt Disney Co.? Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 3 Apr. 2024 They are both narrated by sons whose fathers are abducted halfway through, and the sons are in due course sent to a school abroad: father and son both end up, in disparate ways, far from home. Hazlitt, 3 Apr. 2024 The Naked and the Dead and Selected Letters, 1945–1946 by Norman Mailer, edited by J. Michael Lennon Seeing the Power in Blindness A writer narrating his increasing loss of vision asks fundamental questions about sight and cognition. The New York Review of Books, 29 Mar. 2024 Philip Roth used to say that listening to Dodgers games as a boy, with the eloquent Southerner Red Barber narrating the adventures of the Brooklyn Bums, taught him more about the power of point of view than any English class did. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2024 In the new commercial for State Farm, airing Friday on the first day of the NCAA women’s tournament, Leslie narrates the spot that highlights Clark’s accomplishments. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 22 Mar. 2024 Arana narrates the extraordinary work of activists who have fought through the decades to build this sense of connectedness, as part of their battles for rights and opportunity. Graciela Mochkofsky, The New Yorker, 18 Mar. 2024 Navalny’s team broadcast a live stream, narrating the day of protest, on his YouTube channel. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2024 Actor William Shatner will narrate the eclipse, joined by artists and choreographers from IU. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 15 Mar. 2024

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1656, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of narrate was in 1656

Dictionary Entries Near narrate

Cite this Entry

“Narrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


narrated; narrating
: relate sense 1, tell
narrate a story
ˈna(ə)r-ˌāt-ər How to pronounce narrate (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on narrate

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