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Borrowed from Latin implicatus < implico (entangle, involve), from plico (fold). Doublet of imply and employ.


implicate (third-person singular simple present implicates, present participle implicating, simple past and past participle implicated)

  1. To connect or involve in an unfavorable or criminal way with something.
    • 2013 June 29, “A punch in the gut”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 72-3:
      Mostly, the microbiome is beneficial. It helps with digestion and enables people to extract a lot more calories from their food than would otherwise be possible. Research over the past few years, however, has implicated it in diseases from atherosclerosis to asthma to autism.
    The evidence implicates involvement of top management in the scheme.
  2. To imply, to have as a necessary consequence or accompaniment.
    What did Nixon's visit to China implicate for Russia?
  3. (pragmatics) To imply without entailing; to have as an implicature.
  4. (archaic) To fold or twist together, intertwine, interlace, entangle, entwine.

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


implicate (plural implicates)

  1. (philosophy) The thing implied.

See also[edit]




  1. second-person plural present of implicare
  2. second-person plural imperative of implicare
  3. feminine plural past participle of implicare




  1. vocative masculine singular of implicātus