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

Other Words from relate

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

Synonyms for relate

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Back in the day, a lot of these kids were growing up in farming communities, and could not relate to the world around them. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 10 May 2022 So in that impromptu team meeting, Odor thought of something many of them could relate with. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 28 Apr. 2022 There were ways in which the men could not relate to their children, who attended private school and spent swaths of their formative years with a Black president. Washington Post, 20 Apr. 2022 The collection echoes the history of these institutions using fashion to reflect values and self-expression, an experience both Douglas and Jeter could relate to during their respective time on campus. NBC News, 10 Apr. 2022 The balance between fantasy and real life was something that Fanning, who has been acting for more than 20 years, can relate to. Emily Longeretta, Variety, 29 Mar. 2022 The specificity is by design, Flanary said, giving his peers something to relate to and a growing audience of outsiders something to laugh at. Damian Garde, STAT, 25 Mar. 2022 To connect to their fans, the Kraken sought out area businesses that their fans could relate to personally. Hudson Lindenberger, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 Well, the singer is currently navigating something that many people can certainly relate to–co-parenting. Elizabeth Ayoola, Essence, 22 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About relate

Time Traveler for relate

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near relate

relatable

relate

relate back to

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for relate

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Relate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relate. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for relate

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.

relate

intransitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on relate

Nglish: Translation of relate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of relate for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!