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[nav-i-geyt] /ˈnæv ɪˌgeɪt/
verb (used with object), navigated, navigating.
to move on, over, or through (water, air, or land) in a ship or aircraft:
to navigate a river.
to direct or manage (a ship, aircraft, or guided missile) on its course.
to ascertain or plot and control the course or position of (a ship, aircraft, etc.).
to pass over (the sea or other body of water), as a ship does.
to walk or find one's way on, in, or across:
It was difficult to navigate the stairs in the dark.
to move or progress through in a logical sequence:
Headings and subheadings make it easier to navigate a long article.
Computers. to move from one part to another of (a website, document, etc.), especially by using the links:
Their site is uncluttered and easy to navigate.
verb (used without object), navigated, navigating.
to direct or manage a ship, aircraft, or guided missile on its course.
to pass over the water, as a ship does.
to walk or find one's way.
to travel by ship or boat; sail.
to move or progress through something in a logical sequence:
We’re navigating through a maze of environmental legislation.
Computers. to move from one part to another of a website, document, etc.
Origin of navigate
1580-90; < Latin nāvigātus, past participle of nāvigāre to sail, derivative of nāvis ship; for formation, see fumigate
Related forms
misnavigate, verb, misnavigated, misnavigating.
renavigate, verb (used with object), renavigated, renavigating.
unnavigated, adjective
well-navigated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for navigating
  • navigating the grid of city streets seems nightmarish.
  • And, of course, for mariners the stars provided some means of navigating at night.
  • But today the boomers, steeped in advertising from cradle to couch, are comfortable navigating a marketplace of limitless choice.
  • navigating your living room box these ways is slick, if limited.
  • Practicing good medicine necessitates navigating a minefield of competing interests.
  • navigating off the traditional route has previously produced positive results.
  • He felt lighthearted for the first time in days, and whistled as he steered around slower vehicles navigating the rainy road.
  • Intriguingly, the designers imagine users navigating this interface not as a three dimensional desktop so much as an actual place.
  • The latter approach is more robust, particularly when navigating unpredictable, complex environments.
  • Finding a purple tree house is small stuff compared with navigating a crowded street.
British Dictionary definitions for navigating


to plan, direct, or plot the path or position of (a ship, an aircraft, etc)
(transitive) to travel over, through, or on (water, air, or land) in a boat, aircraft, etc
(informal) to direct (oneself, one's way, etc) carefully or safely: he navigated his way to the bar
(intransitive) (of a passenger in a motor vehicle) to give directions to the driver; point out the route
(intransitive) (rare) to voyage in a ship; sail
Word Origin
C16: from Latin nāvigāre to sail, from nāvis ship + agere to drive
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 navigating



1580s, a back-formation from navigation, or else from Latin navigatus, past participle of navigare. Extended to balloons (1784) and later to aircraft (1901). Related: Navigated; navigating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for navigating



To walk, esp when drunk (1843+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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navigating in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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