How is the word participate distinct from other similar verbs?
The words partake and share are common synonyms of participate. While all three words mean "to have, get, or use in common with another or others," participate implies a having or taking part in an undertaking, activity, or discussion.
participated in sports
When can partake be used instead of participate?
The words partake and participate can be used in similar contexts, but partake implies accepting or acquiring a share especially of food or drink.
partook freely of the refreshments
Where would share be a reasonable alternative to participate?
While in some cases nearly identical to participate, share usually implies that one as the original holder grants to another the partial use, enjoyment, or possession of a thing.