nav·​i·​gate | \ ˈna-və-ˌgāt How to pronounce navigate (audio) \
navigated; navigating

Definition of navigate

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : to steer or manage (a boat) in sailing
b : to operate or control the course of navigate an airplane

Synonyms for navigate


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Examples of navigate in a Sentence

For thousands of years, sailors navigated by the stars. How about if you drive and I navigate? I'd need a map to navigate the city. Only flat-bottomed boats can safely navigate the canal. He has learned to navigate in rough waters. The downtown area is easily navigated on foot. She has trouble navigating the stairs with her crutches. It took us 10 minutes to navigate through the parking lot to the exit. The captain navigated the ship. He has had experience navigating airplanes through storms. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Walk, single, walk, walk, single, strikeout, strikeout, walk, forcing Dusty Baker to make the walk (wink) to retrieve him as well as navigate the next 8.1 innings with his bullpen in a 6-0 loss. James Yasko, Chron, 13 May 2022 In addition to managing economic uncertainty, companies also have had to navigate new ways of working, with remote work becoming commonplace during the pandemic and remaining in place post-pandemic. Jeff Thomson, Forbes, 13 May 2022 The purpose was to think through what a Chinese invasion of Taiwan might look like now that the world has had to navigate the initial fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Carol E. Lee, NBC News, 12 May 2022 Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate With an offense that needed a jolt, the San Francisco Giants on Friday reinstated a man who provided plenty of late-inning energy last season. Steve Kroner, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 May 2022 The organization helps survivors navigate criminal justice system and provides civil legal services, and is representing Jane Doe. Rebecca Boone, ajc, 30 Apr. 2022 Tax professionals, who are scarred from the past two years helping their clients navigate ever-changing pandemic payments, Paycheck Protection Program loans and unemployment benefits, are wary of jinxing the possibility of easier tax seasons ahead. Erin Prater, Fortune, 17 Apr. 2022 Kuvshynova was 24 years old and serving as a consultant, helping crews navigate Kyiv and the surrounding area while gathering information and speaking to sources. Fox News, 8 Apr. 2022 Kuvshynova was serving as a consultant for Fox News, helping teams navigate the area, gather news and speak with sources, the network said. Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of navigate

1588, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for navigate

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

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Time Traveler for navigate

Time Traveler

The first known use of navigate was in 1588

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Dictionary Entries Near navigate

navigable airspace


navigating officer

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Statistics for navigate

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Navigate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for navigate


nav·​i·​gate | \ ˈna-və-ˌgāt How to pronounce navigate (audio) \
navigated; navigating

Kids Definition of navigate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on navigate

Nglish: Translation of navigate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of navigate for Arabic Speakers


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