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[nar-eyt, na-reyt] /ˈnær eɪt, næˈreɪt/
verb (used with object), narrated, narrating.
to give an account or tell the story of (events, experiences, etc.).
to add a spoken commentary to (a film, television program, etc.):
to narrate a slide show.
verb (used without object), narrated, narrating.
to relate or recount events, experiences, etc., in speech or writing.
Origin of narrate
1650-60; < Latin narrātus (past participle of narrāre to relate, tell, say), equivalent to nār(us) knowing, acquainted with (variant of gnārus; see cognition) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
narratable, adjective
narrator, narrater
[nar-ey-ter, na-rey-, nar-uh-] /ˈnær eɪ tər, næˈreɪ-, ˈnær ə-/ (Show IPA),
misnarrate, verb, misnarrated, misnarrating.
unnarratable, adjective
unnarrated, adjective
well-narrated, adjective
1. detail, recite. See describe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for narrate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Hence he proceeds to narrate his early courses, especially his amours with mercenary beauties.

  • Virginia and Sing were compelled to narrate the adventure of the afternoon a dozen times.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • I kissed her tenderly, and bade her narrate the circumstances of John's attack.

    The Lost Stradivarius John Meade Falkner
  • The origin of these and the like stories is to be found in the tale which I am about to narrate.

    Statesman Plato
  • The carnage far exceeded that of Hattrass, or of any of the other storms I have had the unpleasant task to narrate.

British Dictionary definitions for narrate


to tell (a story); relate
to speak in accompaniment of (a film, television programme, etc)
Derived Forms
narratable, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin narrāre to recount, from gnārus knowing
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 narrate

1748, back-formation from narration or else from Latin narratus, past participle of narrare "to tell, relate, recount" (see narration). "Richardson and Johnson call it Scottish" [OED], a stigma which kept it from general use until 19c. A few mid-17c. instances are traceable to Spanish narrar. Related: Narrated; narrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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