[loh-keyt, loh-keyt]
See more synonyms for locate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), lo·cat·ed, lo·cat·ing.
  1. to identify or discover the place or location of: to locate the bullet wound.
  2. to set, fix, or establish in a position, situation, or locality; place; settle: to locate our European office in Paris.
  3. to assign or ascribe a particular location to (something), as by knowledge or opinion: Some scholars locate the Garden of Eden in Babylonia.
  4. to survey and enter a claim to a tract of land; take possession of land.
verb (used without object), lo·cat·ed, lo·cat·ing.
  1. to establish one's business or residence in a place; settle.

Origin of locate

1645–55, Americanism; < Latin locātus, past participle of locāre to put in a given position, place; see locus, -ate1
Related formslo·cat·a·ble, adjectivein·ter·lo·cate, verb (used with object), in·ter·lo·cat·ed, in·ter·lo·cat·ing.pre·lo·cate, verb, pre·lo·cat·ed, pre·lo·cat·ing.self-lo·cat·ing, adjectiveun·lo·cat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for locate

Contemporary Examples of locate

Historical Examples of locate

  • At a place which I cannot locate our German conductors were exchanged for French conductors.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • He tensed, straining his ears for any movement that might locate the hidden foe.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • In the meantime our present work must be to endeavor to locate their cache.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • Its use will help to locate the plant in hand in the genus to which it belongs.

  • There was a change somewhere, and he was trying to locate it.

British Dictionary definitions for locate


  1. (tr) to discover the position, situation, or whereabouts of; find
  2. (tr; often passive) to situate or placelocated on the edge of the city
  3. (intr) to become established or settled
Derived Formslocatable, adjectivelocater, 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 locate

1650s, "to establish oneself in a place, settle," from Latin locatus, past participle of locare "to place, put, set, dispose, arrange," from locus "a place" (see locus). Sense of "mark the limits of a place" (especially a land grant) is attested from 1739 in American English; this developed to "establish (something) in a place" (1807) and "to find out the place of" (1882, American English). Related: Located; locating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper