ra·​di·​ate | \ ˈrā-dē-ˌāt How to pronounce radiate (audio) \
radiated; radiating

Definition of radiate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to proceed in a direct line from or toward a center
2 : to send out rays : shine brightly
3a : to issue in or as if in rays
b : to evolve by adaptive radiation

transitive verb

1 : to send out in or as if in rays
3 : to spread abroad or around as if from a center


ra·​di·​ate | \ ˈrā-dē-ət How to pronounce radiate (audio) , -ˌāt \

Definition of radiate (Entry 2 of 2)

: having rays or radial parts: such as
a : having ray flowers
b : characterized by radial symmetry : radially symmetrical

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Other Words from radiate


radiately adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for radiate

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of radiate in a Sentence

Verb The pain was radiating down my arm. The sun radiates heat and light. Heat radiates from the sun.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That intense, fervent bellow radiating from the engine absorbs every bit of your attention. Barry Winfield, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1997 Acura Integra Type R Rewards VTEC Enthusiasts in a Major Way," 21 May 2020 Doughty’s signature confidence radiated from that poster. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "The heartbreaking impact of no NCAA Tournament," 12 Mar. 2020 As the epidemic radiated in recent weeks out from Hubei's capital, Wuhan, Chinese have turned against those who hail from the province — a domestic microcosm of the stigma that their compatriots now face internationally. Gerry Shih, Washington Post, "In China’s virus-hit heartland, fear and loathing on the road to Wuhan," 5 Feb. 2020 Once the inner portion of the plate has moved enough to force the edges to overcome the friction holding them together to become unstuck, that stored energy radiates away in waves rippling through the Earth’s rocky surface. Everyday Einstein Sabrina Stierwalt, Scientific American, "Can We Predict Earthquakes At All?," 15 Jan. 2020 Tensions between Blumberg and his co-founder, Matt Lieber, radiate in interviews with Gimlet producers, and Blumberg records his own anxious musings during bouts of insomnia. Laura Jane Standley, The Atlantic, "The 50 Best Podcasts of 2019," 27 Dec. 2019 Many people combat winter’s chill by using a portable space heater—a cheerful gadget that radiates June in the middle of January—in drafty rooms, home work areas, chilly entryways, or the office cubicle. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Space Heaters for Warming Up the Office, Garage, or Home," 16 Oct. 2019 On the day of the grand opening, there’s a horrific smell radiating from the studio. Dan Snierson, EW.com, "Phylicia Rashad returns to This Is Us in the dance-studio debacle you never saw coming," 15 Oct. 2019 That this way of reading is, now, essential to the practice of any halfway serious reader or fractionally sentient critic is due, in no small part, to Morrison’s radiating influence. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "The Indelible Substance of a Semester with Toni Morrison," 7 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'radiate.' 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 radiate


circa 1619, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1668, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for radiate


Latin radiatus, past participle of radiare, from radius ray

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Time Traveler for radiate

Time Traveler

The first known use of radiate was circa 1619

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Statistics for radiate

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Radiate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/radiate. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for radiate


How to pronounce radiate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of radiate

: to go out in a direct line from a central point or area
: to move in a specified direction from a source
: to send out (something, such as heat or energy) in rays


ra·​di·​ate | \ ˈrā-dē-ˌāt How to pronounce radiate (audio) \
radiated; radiating

Kids Definition of radiate

1 : to send out rays : shine The sun was radiating in the sky.
2 : to come forth in the form of rays Light radiates from shining bodies.
3 : to go out in a direct line from a center Spokes radiate from the center of the wheel.
4 : to spread around from or as if from a center Word radiated that Royce McNabb had sent Ina-Rae Gage a valentine.— Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder
5 : to show very clearly She radiates confidence.


ra·​di·​ate | \ ˈrād-ē-ˌāt How to pronounce radiate (audio) \
radiated; radiating

Medical Definition of radiate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to issue in or as if in rays : spread from a central point back pain radiating to both upper legs— Tony Miksanek


ra·​di·​ate | \ ˈrād-ē-ət, -ē-ˌāt How to pronounce radiate (audio) \

Medical Definition of radiate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having rays or radial parts
2 : characterized by radial symmetry : radially symmetrical

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More from Merriam-Webster on radiate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for radiate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with radiate

Spanish Central: Translation of radiate

Nglish: Translation of radiate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of radiate for Arabic Speakers

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