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 Libby, whose sections are narrated by Tamaryn Payne in an appropriate young Londoner’s voice, enlists the help of a journalist to investigate the mystery and eventually the threads come together to produce one final surprise. Katherine A. Powers, Washington Post, "Listen up! Our critic picks three new audiobooks for your playlist.," 21 Jan. 2020 The piece is narrated by the artist herself and tells the story of her life and career trajectory. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "Linda Ronstadt sees 'great parallels' between Hitler's Germany and Trump's America," 3 Jan. 2020 Wesley's story is narrated by the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and illustrated with kung-fu movie animations. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Mad Max meets Ferris Bueller in boldly outrageous Netflix series Daybreak," 3 Nov. 2019 The piece is narrated by DHW (Francis Jue), a stand-in for the playwright, who, shortly before the 2016 presidential election, meets with Xue Xing (Conrad Ricamora, How to Get Away With Murder), a visiting Chinese theatrical producer from Shanghai. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Soft Power': Theater Review," 16 Oct. 2019 By synthesizing an array of influences — Sudanese music, classical music, Celtic folk songs and R&B balladry — her lyrics narrate a quest to make the unconscious conscious. Washington Post, "15 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 9 Mar. 2020 Ginger the hamster narrated her own video from a Cadbury purple stage. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Lieutenant Dan the two-legged hound is competing to be the next Cadbury Bunny," 8 Mar. 2020 The author himself will narrate, as well as serve as creative director and executive producer. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Neil Gaiman narrates teaser for forthcoming Sandman audio drama," 4 Mar. 2020 Veteran Broadway actor Jim Dale narrated all seven books in the Harry Potter series, amounting to a total of 117 hours and 4 minutes of reading time. NBC News, "How to listen to audiobooks and where to get them: a beginner's guide," 10 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for narrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of narrate was in 1656

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Statistics for narrate

Last Updated

1 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Narrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for narrate


How to pronounce narrate (audio) How to pronounce narrate (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for narrate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with narrate

Spanish Central: Translation of narrate

Nglish: Translation of narrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of narrate for Arabic Speakers

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