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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was a Spartan law forbidding masters to emancipate their slaves.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • And my family have been voting for two centuries to emancipate this fellow!

    The Young Duke Benjamin Disraeli
  • Conservatism cannot emancipate itself from the conditions of the age.

  • The disposition to emancipate them is strongest in Virginia.

  • Emancipation from the school does not emancipate one from learning through his fellow-men.

    Pedagogics as a System Karl Rosenkranz
  • To emancipate a slave is to take him out of the hands of his master.

    Orthography Elmer W. Cavins
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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