verb nav·i·gate \ ˈna-və-ˌgāt \
|Updated on: 12 Jul 2018

Definition of navigate

navigated; navigating
1 : to travel by water : sail
  • navigated down to the mouth of the river
2 : to steer a course through a medium; specifically : to operate an airplane
  • navigate by instrument
3 : get around, move
  • was well enough to navigate under his own power
1 a : to sail over, on, or through
  • able to navigate the deep ocean waters
b : to make one's way over or through : traverse
  • navigate the Internet via hypertext links connecting information-rich computers around the world.
  • —Stephanie Losee
2 a : to steer or manage (a boat) in sailing
b : to operate or control the course of
  • navigate an airplane

Examples of navigate in a Sentence

  1. For thousands of years, sailors navigated by the stars.

  2. How about if you drive and I navigate?

  3. I'd need a map to navigate the city.

  4. Only flat-bottomed boats can safely navigate the canal.

  5. He has learned to navigate in rough waters.

  6. The downtown area is easily navigated on foot.

  7. She has trouble navigating the stairs with her crutches.

  8. It took us 10 minutes to navigate through the parking lot to the exit.

  9. The captain navigated the ship.

  10. He has had experience navigating airplanes through storms.

Recent Examples of navigate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'navigate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of navigate

Latin navigatus, past participle of navigare, from navis ship + -igare (from agere to drive) — more at agent

Other Nautical Terms

NAVIGATE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of navigate for English Language Learners

  • : to find the way to get to a place when you are traveling in a ship, airplane, car, etc.

  • : to sail on, over, or through an area of water

  • : to travel on, over, or through (an area or place)

NAVIGATE Defined for Kids


verb nav·i·gate \ ˈna-və-ˌgāt \

Definition of navigate for Students

navigated; navigating
1 : to travel by water
  • Explorers navigated around the world.
2 : to sail or travel over, on, or through
  • The crew navigated the river.
3 : to steer a course in a ship or aircraft
4 : to steer or direct the course of (as a boat)
5 : to find information on the Internet or a Web site

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one who attends or assists a leader

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