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[loh-keyt, loh-keyt]
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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.
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verb (used without object), lo·cat·ed, lo·cat·ing.
  1. to establish one's business or residence in a place; settle.
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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

Related Words for locate

unearth, detect, pinpoint, spot, discover, station, strike, uncover, establish, reside, set, situate, park, stand, put, inhabit, read, position, place, determine

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
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper