[kom-uh n-teyt]
See more synonyms for commentate on
verb (used with object), com·men·tat·ed, com·men·tat·ing.
  1. to deliver a commentary on: to commentate a fashion show.
  2. to write a commentary on; annotate: to commentate the Book of Job.
verb (used without object), com·men·tat·ed, com·men·tat·ing.
  1. to serve as a commentator: The senior staff member will commentate, as usual.
  2. to make explanatory or critical comments, as upon a text: the manuscript on which I am commentating.

Origin of commentate

First recorded in 1785–95; back formation from commentator
Can be confusedcomment commentate (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

Since the late 18th century, commentate has been used transitively with the meaning “to annotate” and, since the mid 19th, intransitively with the meaning “to make explanatory or critical comments.” These uses are now rare. Recently, commentate has developed the additional transitive sense “to deliver a commentary on” and the intransitive sense “to serve as a commentator.” These uses are occasionally criticized as journalistic jargon. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for commentate

Contemporary Examples of commentate

British Dictionary definitions for commentate


  1. (intr) to serve as a commentator
  2. (tr) US to make a commentary on (a text, event, etc)


The verb commentate, derived from commentator, is sometimes used as a synonym for comment on or provide a commentary for. It is not yet fully accepted as standard, though widespread in sports reporting and journalism
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

Word Origin and History for commentate

1794, "to comment," back-formation from commentator. Meaning "to deliver commentary" is attested from 1939 (implied in commentating). Related: Commentated; commentating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper