stip·​u·​late | \ ˈsti-pyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce stipulate (audio) \
stipulated; stipulating

Definition of stipulate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make an agreement or covenant to do or forbear something : contract
2 : to demand an express term in an agreement used with for

transitive verb

1 : to specify as a condition or requirement (as of an agreement or offer)
2 : to give a guarantee of


stip·​u·​late | \ ˈsti-pyə-lət How to pronounce stipulate (audio) \

Definition of stipulate (Entry 2 of 2)

: having stipules

Other Words from stipulate


stipulator \ ˈsti-​pyə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce stipulate (audio) \ noun

Did you know?

Like many terms used in the legal profession, stipulate has its roots in Latin. It derives from stipulatus, the past participle of stipulari, a verb meaning "to demand a guarantee (from a prospective debtor)." Stipulate has been a part of the English language since the 17th century. In Roman law, oral contracts were deemed valid only if they followed a proper question-and-answer format; stipulate was sometimes used specifically of this same process of contract making, though it also could be used more generally for any means of making a contract or agreement. The "to specify as a condition or requirement" meaning of stipulate also dates to the 17th century, and is the sense of the word most often encountered in current use.

Examples of stipulate in a Sentence

Verb The cease-fire was stipulated by the treaty. The rules stipulate that players must wear uniforms.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb What’s the through line? Let’s first stipulate that tragedy, people oft forget, is not so much about flaws or sadness but about the human experience of chaos. Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 While existing rules stipulate that government agencies assess potential conflicts of interest before determining contract winners, watchdogs say the process remains opaque. Lucien Bruggeman, ABC News, 28 Mar. 2022 In contrast, a number of Democratic arms-control supporters had urged Mr. Biden to minimize the role of nuclear weapons in the Pentagon’s strategy and stipulate that the U.S. would never make the first use of nuclear weapons in a conflict. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2022 The amendments, passed Feb. 8, hold the state accountable for safeguarding ecosystems and biodiversity and stipulate that economic activity must not harm the natural world. Erika Page, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Mar. 2022 They’re not bound by UK’s minimum wage laws, which stipulate hourly pay of at least £8.91 for workers aged over 23. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 22 Mar. 2022 The guidelines will stipulate that states should focus on interstates before building elsewhere. Timothy Puko, WSJ, 10 Feb. 2022 Some people are seeking ways to skirt the obligation, and religious exemptions, which stipulate that a person’s spiritual beliefs can free them from a medical requirement, present one way to do so. Mansee Khurana, The Atlantic, 28 Jan. 2022 The documents stipulate that each of them be paid $250,000 annually for their management of the estate. James Hill, ABC News, 12 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Federal guidelines stipulate hospitals should report staffed inpatient and ICU beds to the Department of Health and Human Services. Daniel Funke, USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2021 The Browns are currently working through protocols in the wake of new NFL guidelines that stipulate fans must remain 20 feet from players at all times. cleveland, 20 June 2021 To address this, some schools were willing stipulate achievements on the assumption that games were played. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, 10 Mar. 2021 There are some interesting financial implications in the contract that stipulate cancellations of games could lead to payment of $500,000 of the canceling teams. Sam Blum, Dallas News, 11 Aug. 2020 The terms of that agreement stipulate partners can withdraw early without financial penalty after giving 30-day notice. oregonlive, 19 June 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of stipulate


circa 1624, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


circa 1776, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stipulate


Latin stipulatus, past participle of stipulari to demand a guarantee (from a prospective debtor)


New Latin stipula

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Time Traveler for stipulate

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The first known use of stipulate was circa 1624

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stipulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for stipulate


stip·​u·​late | \ ˈsti-pyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce stipulate (audio) \
stipulated; stipulating

Legal Definition of stipulate

intransitive verb

1 : to make an agreement or covenant about something (as damages)
2 : to demand a particular promise in an agreement used with for may…assume or stipulate for obligations of all kindsLouisiana Civil Code
3 : to agree respecting an aspect of legal proceedings used with to stipulated to a dismissal of the claim with prejudiceNational Law Journal pleaded guilty to the charge of battery and stipulated to the underlying factsLuna v. Meinke, 844 F. Supp. 1284 (1994)

transitive verb

1 : to specify especially as a condition or requirement of an agreement parties may not stipulate the invalidity of statutes or ordinancesWest v. Bank of Commerce & Trusts, 167 F.2d 664 (1948) the contract stipulated that the lessor was responsible for maintenance within a stipulated period of time
2 : to establish (procedure or evidence) by agreement during a proceeding defendant stipulated that evidence was sufficient to support his conspiracy convictionNational Law Journal based on stipulated facts

History and Etymology for stipulate

Latin stipulatus, past participle of stipulari to exact (as from a prospective debtor) a formal guarantee when making an oral contract


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