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Borrowed from Latin commūnicātus, perfect passive participle of commūnicō (share, impart; make common), from commūnis (common). Doublet of commune.


  • IPA(key): /kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: com‧mu‧ni‧cate


communicate (third-person singular simple present communicates, present participle communicating, simple past and past participle communicated)

  1. To impart
    1. (transitive) To impart or transmit (information or knowledge) to someone; to make known, to tell. [from 16th c.]
      It is vital that I communicate this information to you.
    2. (transitive) To impart or transmit (an intangible quantity, substance); to give a share of. [from 16th c.]
      to communicate motion by means of a crank
      • 1660, Jeremy Taylor, The Worthy Communicant; or a Discourse of the Nature, Effects, and Blessings consequent to the worthy receiving of the Lords Supper:
        Where God is worshipped, there he communicates his blessings and holy influences.
    3. (transitive) To pass on (a disease) to another person, animal etc. [from 17th c.]
      The disease was mainly communicated via rats and other vermin.
  2. To share
    1. (transitive, obsolete) To share (in); to have in common, to partake of. [16th–19th c.]
      We shall now consider those functions of intelligence which man communicates with the higher beasts.
    2. (intransitive, Christianity) To receive the bread and wine at a celebration of the Eucharist; to take part in Holy Communion. [from 16th c.]
      • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide:
        It seems that now [the Devil] was driving Alison hard. She had been remiss of late — fewer souls sent to hell, less zeal in quenching the Spirit, and, above all, the crowning offense that her bairn had communicated in Christ's kirk.
      • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society, published 2012, page 148:
        The ‘better sort’ might communicate on a separate day; and in some parishes even the quality of the communion wine varied with the social quality of the recipients.
    3. (transitive, Christianity) To administer the Holy Communion to (someone). [from 16th c.]
      • 1660, Jeremy Taylor, The Worthy Communicant; or a Discourse of the Nature, Effects, and Blessings consequent to the worthy receiving of the Lords Supper:
        She [the church] [] may communicate him.
    4. (intransitive) To express or convey ideas, either through verbal or nonverbal means; to have intercourse, to exchange information. [from 16th c.]
      Many deaf people communicate with sign language.
      I feel I hardly know him; I just wish he'd communicate with me a little more.
    5. (intransitive) To be connected with (another room, vessel etc.) by means of an opening or channel. [from 16th c.]
      • 1907, Ronald M. Burrows, The Discoveries In Crete, page 7:
        A scheme of internal staircases and upper stories enabled the rooms built upon this eastern slope to communicate with the Central Court on the crown of the hill.
      The living room communicates with the back garden by these French windows.


Related terms[edit]


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  1. second-person plural present active imperative of commūnicō