nar·rate | \ ˈner-ˌāt , ˈna-ˌrat , na-ˈrāt \
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, 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

What the ad says: The ad is narrated by Yara Cheikh, an activist on education issues in the county and supporter of Brochin’s campaign. Pamela Wood,, "Ad watch: Brochin TV ad in Baltimore County executive's race touts accomplishments," 9 June 2018 The book is narrated by our president-hero, an I’m-going-take-things-into-my-own-hands kind of guy. Jocelyn Mcclurg, USA TODAY, "'The President Is Missing'! Can superhero prez save the day in Clinton/Patterson thriller?," 3 June 2018 The novel is narrated by Michael Simmons, Maggie’s friend and business manager, whose feelings about the hauntings transform from uneasy skepticism to unrestrained horror. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction Chronicle: Under West Indian Eyes," 18 May 2018 The path from suburbia to dystopia is narrated by an unnamed teen-ager with a fractured family, preternatural poise, and an appreciation for good diners. Junot Díaz, The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 7 May 2018 Transportation song quiz Last week’s song is narrated by someone who loves a vintage machine and red hair. Mary Wisniewski,, "So, what exactly happened to Mayor Emanuel's plan for Pilsen, Little Village bike and pedestrian trail?," 30 Apr. 2018 Civilizations This docu-series narrated by Liev Schreiber concludes with a look at the importance of art in the modern age. Matt Cooper,, "Tuesday's TV highlights: 'Bizarre Foods' on the Travel Channel," 3 July 2018 The animated piece, narrated by Glover, touches on how power dynamics can make for an uncomfortable work environment. Darcel Rockett,, "Don't kiss your co-worker on the mouth — and other workplace harassment tips from Rashida Jones and Donald Glover," 28 June 2018 Produced in association with Brand USA, presented by Expedia, and narrated by Morgan Freeman, the MacGillivray Freeman Films documentary is currently on IMAX and giant screens in museums and science centers across the U.S. and Canada. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Aloe Blacc on 'America's Musical Journey' Doc, His Forthcoming Album & Unreleased Songs With Avicii," 20 June 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

17 Sep 2018

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 , 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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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 deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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