[verb kop-yuh-leyt; adjective kop-yuh-lit]

verb (used without object), cop·u·lat·ed, cop·u·lat·ing.

to engage in sexual intercourse.


connected; joined.

Nearby words

  1. copter,
  2. coptic,
  3. coptic church,
  4. copts,
  5. copula,
  6. copulation,
  7. copulative,
  8. copulative asyndeton,
  9. copulatory,
  10. copy

Origin of copulate

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin cōpulātus bound together. See copula, -ate1

Related formscop·u·la·to·ry [kop-yuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈkɒp yə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for copulate



(intr) to perform sexual intercourse
Derived Formscopulation, nouncopulatory, adjective

Word Origin for copulate

C17: from Latin copulāre to join together; see copula

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 copulate



early 15c., "to join," from Latin copulatus, past participle of copulare "join together, couple, bind, link, unite," from copula "band, tie, link," from PIE *ko-ap-, from *ko(m)- "together" + *ap- "to take, reach." Sexual sense attested from 1630s. Related: Copulated; copulating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for copulate




To engage in coitus or sexual intercourse.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.