nar·​rate | \ ˈner-ˌāt , ˈna-ˌrat, na-ˈrāt \
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 , 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

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 The automated calls are narrated by someone pretending to be Gillum and using an exaggerated minstrel dialect with jungle noises in the background. Dylan Scott, Vox, "How racist robocalls and an FBI inquiry are shaking up the Florida governor’s race," 7 Nov. 2018 Each episode is narrated by astronauts, invoking the unique perspectives of those who have seen our planet from outer space. Hanneke Weitering,, "Earth's Shields Protect Life from the Sun on 'One Strange Rock'," 9 Apr. 2018 Gaitonde narrates his life from his childhood as the son of a poor monk to mob boss of Mumbai’s Gopalmath district. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Sacred Games Reinvents the Police Procedural," 12 July 2018 Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a revelation as the title character: a sardonic, impulsive young woman navigating life in London, bluntly narrating her exploits (and sexploits) to the camera while quietly dealing with profound pain. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 18 Best TV Shows of 2016," 14 Dec. 2016 One of the conceits of this production is that Atticus’s children, Scout and Jem (and their friend Dill), are played by adults, who narrate the action as a kind of Greek chorus. Adam Green, Vogue, "Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird Arrives on Broadway," 12 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

5 Feb 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 , 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

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