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


  • (verb) IPA(key): /ˈɪmplɪkeɪt/
    • (file)
  • (noun) IPA(key): /ˈɪmplɪkət/


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

  1. (transitive, with “in”) To show to be connected or involved in an unfavorable or criminal way.
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume III, London: Henry Colburn, [], OCLC 21345056, page 256:
      But it is of no use talking now; the servants will soon be stirring, and it would be rather awkward to be found here." "For you, perhaps, madam," sneered Sir George. "Rather for yourself," replied she, with the greatest composure; "you might be implicated in the charge of murder."
    • 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. (transitive, nonstandard) 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]



implicate (plural implicates)

  1. (philosophy) The thing implied.

See also[edit]





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




  1. vocative masculine singular of implicātus