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 narrate (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 Cowen imagines how various figures, ranging from those in the White House to others such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Merrick Garland, Biden’s attorney general nominee, would narrate a Seder, if all brought together in one room. Gabe Friedman,, "From ‘Seinfeld’ to WWII Morocco, Haggadah options will spice up Passover Seder," 10 Mar. 2021 Right from the top of the show, Harrison's voiceover came on to narrate what was about to happen in the episode. Martha Sorren,, "The Bachelor Finale Gave Chris Harrison The Mic After All," 16 Mar. 2021 This is perhaps, why having Big K.R.I.T and other familiar voices narrate this project was such a critical decision. Maia Niguel Hoskin, Forbes, "Okayplayer Celebrates Black Joy And Promotes Mental Wellness With The Launch Of ‘PASSAGE: The Practice Of Healing’," 1 Mar. 2021 Donahue will narrate the rich history of the highland bagpipes, one of the world’s oldest folk instruments, and will also perform some fun and popular pipe tunes. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Local cancer survivor to appear in national awareness campaign: Strong Points," 26 Feb. 2021 The book blurs time and reality until Oakley herself turns up in the present to narrate the events of her life. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy, From the Science of Life to Annie Oakley," 26 Jan. 2021 This had a surreal, faintly futile quality, like trying to narrate a traffic jam play by play. WSJ, "Notable & Quotable: The Thrill of Covering Trump," 15 Feb. 2021 Hall gained a measure of prominence in November, when CBS asked him to help narrate its introduction of the Masters. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "Ahead of AT&T, deaf golfer Kevin Hall: 'I see and think about the world a little differently'," 10 Feb. 2021 Instead, there was Kate McKinnon, literally playing herself, bringing in different SNL ensemble members to calmly narrate some of the wacky news of the week (the GameStop stock surge, O.J. Simpson getting a COVID-19 vaccine). David Sims, The Atlantic, "Saturday Night Live Is Over It," 31 Jan. 2021

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

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Narrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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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