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.

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 All of David’s acquaintances narrate their lives more or less like this. Alejandro Chacoff, The New Yorker, 3 Jan. 2022 Trapped in prison, with threatening but also sometimes sweet, poetry-loving fellow felons, Younger can only narrate the part of the story that takes place beyond the walls, as Blossom acts as her own Nancy Drew. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Dec. 2021 Tony Award-winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell will narrate the special and be featured as a guest soloist. The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Nov. 2021 Sorkin cuts back in time and forward so that the writers and showrunner can help narrate everything documentary-style. Lindsey Bahr, Detroit Free Press, 10 Dec. 2021 The goal is to narrate the discovery of the head and torso portion of the Krishna in southern Cambodia in the early 20th century, and multiple attempts to reattach it to fragments of arms, legs, and feet later unearthed at the same site. Steven Litt, cleveland, 21 Nov. 2021 But a typical 18-year-old mainly wants to narrate their own life. Washington Post, 18 Nov. 2021 But a typical 18-year-old mainly wants to narrate their own life. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 18 Nov. 2021 But a typical 18-year-old mainly wants to narrate their own life. Amy Dickinson,, 18 Nov. 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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Last Updated

24 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Narrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on narrate

Nglish: Translation of narrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of narrate for Arabic Speakers


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