sup·​pli·​cate ˈsə-plə-ˌkāt How to pronounce supplicate (audio)
supplicated; supplicating

intransitive verb

: to make a humble entreaty
especially : to pray to God

transitive verb

: to ask humbly and earnestly of
: to ask for earnestly and humbly
supplication noun
Choose the Right Synonym for supplicate

beg, entreat, beseech, implore, supplicate, adjure, importune mean to ask urgently.

beg suggests earnestness or insistence in the asking.

they begged for help

entreat implies an effort to persuade or to overcome resistance.

entreated me to join them

beseech and implore imply a deeply felt anxiety.

I beseech you to have mercy
implored her not to leave him

supplicate suggests a posture of humility.

with bowed heads they supplicated their Lord

adjure implies advising as well as pleading.

we were adjured to tell the truth

importune suggests an annoying persistence in trying to break down resistance to a request.

importuning viewers for contributions

Examples of supplicate in a Sentence

the minister reminded his flock that God is a being to be obeyed and worshipped always and not just someone to be supplicated in times of trouble
Recent Examples on the Web The windows do away with the plaintive or supplicating figures more common to Christian stained glass. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 7 Dec. 2023 In short, the PCBE happily rubber-stamped the backwards and anti-science decrees of Bush and Cheney in an effort to supplicate the deranged Christian base of the Republican party. Kyle Munkittrick, Discover Magazine, 22 Feb. 2011 Now, finally, Farley, as chief of Ford for barely half a year, has come to supplicate before the narrative. Dale Buss, Forbes, 1 June 2021 Committees should draw power from their accomplishments, not based on which industries need to supplicate before the gavel. Ben Sasse, WSJ, 8 Sep. 2020 Two rows of little red devils bow at the magician’s feet, as though supplicating a supreme figure of dark and mysterious powers. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Mar. 2020 But while its competitors were giving grandiose speeches and supplicating at the White House, the company’s content-moderation choices stood out as an example of a social network with a moral compass. Kevin Roose, New York Times, 30 Dec. 2019 To restore their good standing, executives must supplicate, with minimal guidance from the party-state. Isaac Stone Fish, Twin Cities, 14 Oct. 2019 Women run many Sufi shrines across Tunisia, prepare and serve food for worshipers and the needy, while women are allowed to pray and supplicate at shrines alongside men – a rarity at Islamic sites. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'supplicate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English supplicaten "to make a request," borrowed from Latin supplicātus, past participle of supplicāre "to seek the goodwill (of a person wronged) with peace offerings, sue for forgiveness, beg humbly," derivative of supplic-, supplex "making humble entreaty, suppliant" — more at supple entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of supplicate was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near supplicate

Cite this Entry

“Supplicate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


sup·​pli·​cate ˈsəp-lə-ˌkāt How to pronounce supplicate (audio)
supplicated; supplicating
: to make a humble appeal
especially : to pray to God
: to ask earnestly and humbly
supplication noun

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