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[jen-uh-reyt] /ˈdʒɛn əˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), generated, generating.
to bring into existence; cause to be; produce.
to create by a vital or natural process.
to create and distribute vitally and profusely:
He generates ideas that we all should consider. A good diplomat generates good will.
to reproduce; procreate.
to produce by a chemical process.
  1. to trace (a figure) by the motion of a point, straight line, or curve.
  2. to act as base for all the elements of a given set:
    The number 2 generates the set 2, 4, 8, 16.
Linguistics. to produce or specify (a grammatical sentence or other construction or set of constructions) by the application of a rule or set of rules in a generative grammar.
verb (used without object), generated, generating.
to reproduce; propagate.
Origin of generate
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin generātus produced, past participle of generāre to beget; see genus
Related forms
intergenerating, adjective
nongenerating, adjective
pregenerate, verb (used with object), pregenerated, pregenerating.
ungenerated, adjective
ungenerating, adjective
1. create, evolve, originate, engender, institute. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for generate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nothing had yet occurred to generate in me any fear before the face of man.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • When we give in or conform to this seduction we generate Sin.

    The Romance of the Soul Lilian Staveley
  • Arthritis and gout have been known to generate criminality in the descendants.

    Criminal Man Gina Lombroso-Ferrero
  • They are built on planets and generate tremendous amounts of power.

    The Repairman Harry Harrison
  • Just what kind of turns with what around what did you make to generate a psi force?

    Sense from Thought Divide Mark Irvin Clifton
British Dictionary definitions for generate


verb (mainly transitive)
to produce or bring into being; create
(also intransitive) to produce (electricity), esp in a power station
to produce (a substance) by a chemical process
(maths, linguistics) to provide a precise criterion or specification for membership in (a set): these rules will generate all the noun phrases in English
(geometry) to trace or form by moving a point, line, or plane in a specific way: circular motion of a line generates a cylinder
Word Origin
C16: from Latin generāre to beget, from genus kind
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 generate

c.1500, "to beget" (offspring), a back-formation from generation or else from Latin generatus, past participle of generare "to beget, produce" (see generation); originally "to beget;" in reference to natural forces, conditions, substances, etc., attested from 1560s. Related: Generated; generating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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