Origin of coordinate

First recorded in 1635–45; co- + (sub)ordinate
Related formsco·or·di·nate·ly, co-or·di·nate·ly, adverbco·or·di·nate·ness, co-or·di·nate·ness, nounco·or·di·na·tive, co-or·di·na·tive [koh-awr-dn-ey-tiv, -awr-dn-uh-] /koʊˈɔr dnˌeɪ tɪv, -ˈɔr dn ə-/, adjectivein·ter·co·or·di·nate, adjectivein·ter·co·or·di·nate, verb, in·ter·co·or·di·nat·ed, in·ter·co·or·di·nat·ing.mis·co·or·di·nate, verb, mis·co·or·di·nat·ed, mis·co·or·di·nat·ing.non·co·or·di·nat·ing, adjectiveun·co·or·di·nate, adjectiveun·co·or·di·nate·ly, adverbun·co·or·di·nate·ness, nounun·co·or·di·nat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for coordinate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coordinate

Contemporary Examples of coordinate

Historical Examples of coordinate

  • Darwin was the first to coordinate the ample results of these lines of research.

  • A leader who could not communicate with his forces and coordinate their actions would be helpless.

    Space Prison

    Tom Godwin

  • He moves continually, because he must coordinate and adapt his mobility.

  • And there are attempts, worthy attempts, to coordinate and synthesize the sciences.

    A Far Country, Complete

    Winston Churchill

  • They meet annually (in the autumn) and coordinate their meeting with that of the World Bank.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

British Dictionary definitions for coordinate



verb (kəʊˈɔːdɪˌneɪt)

(tr) to organize or integrate (diverse elements) in a harmonious operation
to place (things) in the same class or order, or (of things) to be placed in the same class or order
(intr) to work together, esp harmoniously
(intr) to take or be in the form of a harmonious order
chem to form or cause to form a coordinate bond

noun (kəʊˈɔːdɪnɪt, -ˌneɪt)

maths any of a set of numbers that defines the location of a point in spaceSee Cartesian coordinates, polar coordinates
a person or thing equal in rank, type, etc

adjective (kəʊˈɔːdɪnɪt, -ˌneɪt)

of, concerned with, or involving coordination
of the same rank, type, etc
of or involving the use of coordinatescoordinate geometry
See also coordinates
Derived Formscoordinately or co-ordinately, adverbcoordinateness or co-ordinateness, nouncoordinative or co-ordinative, adjectivecoordinator or co-ordinator, noun
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 coordinate

1640s, "of the same order," from Medieval Latin coordinatus, past participle of coordinare "to set in order, arrange" (see coordination). Meaning "involving coordination" is from 1769. Related: Coordinance.


1823, in the mathematical sense, especially with reference to the system invented by Descartes; from coordinate (adj.). Hence, coordinates as a means of determining a location on the earth's surface (especially for aircraft), attested by 1960.


1660s, "to place in the same rank," from Latin coordinare (see coordination). Meaning "to arrange in proper position" (transitive) is from 1847; that of "to work together in order" (intransitive) is from 1863. Related: Coordinated; coordinating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

coordinate in Science



One of a set of numbers that determines the position of a point. Only one coordinate is needed if the point is on a line, two if the point is in a plane, and three if it is in space.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.