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)

Example Sentences

The author narrates her story in great detail. a documentary narrated by a famous actor
Recent Examples on the Web Conrad and Cavallari both said they were tapped to narrate their respective seasons of the show without much opportunity to give input to producers. Amanda Taylor, Peoplemag, 8 Nov. 2022 Grammer also recently signed on to narrate the Fox Business primetime series Legends & Lies. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Apr. 2022 Its answer is to narrate the life of its protagonist, a Florentine ophthalmologist named Marco Carrera, out of sequence. The New Yorker, 14 Mar. 2022 Original cast member Kristen Bell will return to narrate the forthcoming series, but as of right now, the other original Gossip Girl cast members will not appear in the reboot. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 30 June 2021 In today’s direct-to-reader mediascape, in which the mediation that journalism offers is often bypassed, Louis’s desire for a writer to narrate his experiences initially seems like an obligatory throwback. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 31 Oct. 2022 Ballot-marking devices use a control pad and headphones to narrate the ballot. Billy Jean Louis, Baltimore Sun, 25 Oct. 2022 Pepe Yñiguez was on the microphone with Valenzuela the next inning for Pujols’ 700th home run, a milestone only three others have reached, but Jarrín will have more opportunities to narrate memories over the next month. Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2022 Who has been allowed to narrate Iraq’s recent history on the world stage? Mustafa Salim, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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 3 Dec. 2022.

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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