relate

verb
re·​late | \ ri-ˈlāt How to pronounce relate (audio) \
related; relating

Definition of relate

transitive verb

1 : to give an account of : tell
2 : to show or establish logical or causal connection between seeks to relate crime to poverty

intransitive verb

1 : to apply or take effect retroactively usually used with back the law relates back to the initial date of decision
2 : to have relationship or connection the readings relate to his lectures
3 : to have or establish a relationship : interact the way a child relates to a teacher
4a : to respond especially favorably can't relate to that kind of music
b : to understand and like or have sympathy for someone or something Those who have experienced the same hardship can relate. characters the reader can easily relate to

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Other Words from relate

relater or relator \ ri-​ˈlā-​tər How to pronounce relate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for relate

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for relate

join, combine, unite, connect, link, associate, relate mean to bring or come together into some manner of union. join implies a bringing into contact or conjunction of any degree of closeness. joined forces in an effort to win combine implies some merging or mingling with corresponding loss of identity of each unit. combined jazz and rock to create a new music unite implies somewhat greater loss of separate identity. the colonies united to form a republic connect suggests a loose or external attachment with little or no loss of identity. a mutual defense treaty connected the two nations link may imply strong connection or inseparability of elements still retaining identity. a name forever linked with liberty associate stresses the mere fact of frequent occurrence or existence together in space or in logical relation. opera is popularly associated with high society relate suggests the existence of a real or presumed logical connection. related what he observed to what he already knew

Examples of relate in a Sentence

You must be feeling awful. I went through something similar myself last year, so I can relate. We listened eagerly as she related the whole exciting story.
Recent Examples on the Web Even so, a business owner can relate their experiences so that anyone can figure out the moral of the story. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "Seven Techniques To Leverage Past Personal And Professional Experiences," 13 May 2021 How on earth does this relate to the Ford Mustang Mach-E? Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "This Is Not a Review of Ford’s New Electric Mustang," 4 May 2021 During a difficult school year, many readers could likely relate to this issue, and the writer used thoughtful details and story structure. Dallas News, "Student journalists win 30th annual Dallas Morning News awards for pandemic, social justice reporting," 4 May 2021 Most of that cost would relate to staffing the two new U.S. senators who would represent the state. Sarah Westwood, Washington Examiner, "The hidden costs of DC statehood," 27 Apr. 2021 Some of the differences may relate to their acute vision in low-light environments, but others remain enigmatic. Tim Flannery, The New York Review of Books, "Why Did They Vanish?," 27 Apr. 2021 Li, who is Chinese and English, could personally relate to the nuances of their character’s identity. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jessie Mei Li Wants to Explore Alina Starkov's Dark Side," 26 Apr. 2021 Black and brown children could relate, and white children who may not have known many people of color grew up thinking of the diverse cast as their own neighbors. Kyle Smith, National Review, "A Cheerful Look inside Sesame Street," 24 Apr. 2021 Living through the gray winters of Victoria, Canada, and after earning her writing MFA in Arizona, Geller could relate. Los Angeles Times, "Festival of Books: Native American authors honor Leslie Marmon Silko, next generation of Indigenous writers," 21 Apr. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for relate

Latin relatus (past participle of referre to carry back), from re- + latus, past participle of ferre to carry — more at tolerate, bear

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Time Traveler for relate

Time Traveler

The first known use of relate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for relate

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Relate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relate. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for relate

relate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of relate

: to show or make a connection between (two or more things)
: to understand and like or have sympathy for someone or something
formal : to tell (something, such as a story)

relate

verb
re·​late | \ ri-ˈlāt How to pronounce relate (audio) \
related; relating

Kids Definition of relate

1 : to give an account of : narrate Each time he … cawed several times as if he were relating his adventures …— Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
2 : to show or have a relationship to or between : connect The events are related. The lesson relates to history.
re·​late | \ ri-ˈlāt How to pronounce relate (audio) \
related; relating

Medical Definition of relate

: to have meaningful social relationships : interact realistically an inability to relate emotionally to others— Willow Lawson

Comments on relate

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