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[ih-man-suh-peyt] /ɪˈmæn səˌpeɪt/
verb (used with object), emancipated, emancipating.
to free from restraint, influence, or the like.
to free (a slave) from bondage.
Roman and Civil Law. to terminate paternal control over.
Origin of emancipate
1615-25; < Latin ēmancipātus (past participle of ēmancipāre) freed from control, equivalent to ē- e-1 + man(us) hand + -cip- (combining form of capere to seize) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
emancipative, adjective
emancipator, noun
nonemancipative, adjective
unemancipative, adjective
Synonym Study
1, 2. See release. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for emancipate
  • Maybe the book could emancipate itself and establish its own domicile.
  • Multiculturalism works fine as long as an individual can emancipate freely of the group he belongs to by birth.
  • They emancipate labor from routine mechanical tasks and offer new employment in technical or creative services.
  • If you don't reach an agreement the judge will decide whether to emancipate you or not based on what is in your best interests.
  • He describes attempts to emancipate films from their literary content in order to reach a higher level of abstraction.
British Dictionary definitions for emancipate


verb (transitive)
to free from restriction or restraint, esp social or legal restraint
(often passive) to free from the inhibitions imposed by conventional morality
to liberate (a slave) from bondage
Derived Forms
emancipated, adjective
emancipative, adjective
emancipator, emancipist, noun
emancipatory (ɪˈmænsɪpətərɪ; -trɪ) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin ēmancipāre to give independence (to a son), from mancipāre to transfer property, from manceps a purchaser; see manciple
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for emancipate

1620s, from Latin emancipatus, past participle of emancipare "declare (someone) free, give up one's authority over," in Roman law, the freeing of a son or wife from the legal authority (patria potestas) of the pater familias, to make his or her own way in the world; from ex- "out, away" (see ex-) + mancipare "deliver, transfer or sell," from mancipum "ownership," from manus "hand" (see manual) + capere "take" (see capable). Related: Emancipated; emancipating. Adopted in the cause of religious toleration (17c.), then anti-slavery (1776). Also used in reference to women who free themselves from conventional customs (1850).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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