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

Whatever changes need to happen to the sport, a change in attitude is paramount, and that comes in part from how competitions like this are narrated and reported on. Jessica Taylor Price, Teen Vogue, "How Gymnastics Is Trying to Move On After Larry Nassar," 5 Mar. 2018 In the cult 1995 teen comedy, Cher Horowitz narrates a clip in which a gang of skeevy high school boys dressed in too big jeans and tees walk through the quad in slow motion. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Could You Love a Man in the Baggy Pants that Took Over the Runways this Season?," 22 Jan. 2019 The series departs from the book, which is narrated by Elena, by offering more material from Lila’s point of view. Ellen Gamerman, WSJ, "Elena Ferrante’s ‘My Brilliant Friend’ Comes to HBO," 7 Nov. 2018 Leitner narrated the journeys of both Pads teams that reached a World Series, plus the three others that claimed West titles. Tom Krasovic,, "Leitner's absence is felt on Padres broadcasts," 4 June 2018 It was narrated by Tom Hanks (who played the paper's famous former executive editor Ben Bradlee in the 2017 film The Post) and highlighted several missing and slain journalists, including Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in Turkey last year. Rose Minutaglio, Town & Country, "Washington Post Staffers Weren't Afraid to Call Out Jeff Bezos on the Paper's Pricey Super Bowl Ad," 4 Feb. 2019 Indeed, as the technician at Mission Control began narrating the final steps of the landing process, the mood in the room turned palpable tense. Paul Roberts, The Seattle Times, "Mars landing is a nail-biter for Redmond rocket engineers," 26 Nov. 2018 Each chapter is narrated by an alternating sister, revealing layers of complex family history and demons. Angela Haupt, The Seattle Times, "The 10 books to read in 2019 based on what you loved in 2018," 7 Jan. 2019 The trailer, which is narrated by Mufasa, will give fans of the original movie chills. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The First Trailer for the Live-Action 'Lion King' Starring Beyoncé and Donald Glover Is Here," 24 Nov. 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

19 Mar 2019

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 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

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).


to boil down or concentrate

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