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verb (used with object), gen·er·at·ed, gen·er·at·ing.
  1. to bring into existence; cause to be; produce.
  2. to create by a vital or natural process.
  3. to create and distribute vitally and profusely: He generates ideas that we all should consider. A good diplomat generates good will.
  4. to reproduce; procreate.
  5. to produce by a chemical process.
  6. Mathematics.
    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.
  7. 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.
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verb (used without object), gen·er·at·ed, gen·er·at·ing.
  1. to reproduce; propagate.
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Origin of generate

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin generātus produced, past participle of generāre to beget; see genus
Related formsin·ter·gen·er·at·ing, adjectivenon·gen·er·at·ing, adjectivepre·gen·er·ate, verb (used with object), pre·gen·er·at·ed, pre·gen·er·at·ing.un·gen·er·at·ed, adjectiveun·gen·er·at·ing, adjective

Synonyms for generate

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for generate

spawn, develop, engender, make, provoke, cause, achieve, procreate, accomplish, form, perform, breed, induce, hatch, beget, parent, effect, bear, propagate, introduce

Examples from the Web for generate

Contemporary Examples of generate

Historical Examples of generate

  • 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.

  • 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 tr)
  1. to produce or bring into being; create
  2. (also intr) to produce (electricity), esp in a power station
  3. to produce (a substance) by a chemical process
  4. maths linguistics to provide a precise criterion or specification for membership in (a set)these rules will generate all the noun phrases in English
  5. geometry to trace or form by moving a point, line, or plane in a specific waycircular motion of a line generates a cylinder
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Word Origin for generate

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper