• synonyms


or nar·rat·er

[nar-ey-ter, na-rey‐, nar-uh‐]
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  1. a person who gives an account or tells the story of events, experiences, etc.
  2. a person who adds spoken commentary to a film, television program, slide show, etc.
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[nar-eyt, na-reyt]
verb (used with object), nar·rat·ed, nar·rat·ing.
  1. to give an account or tell the story of (events, experiences, etc.).
  2. to add a spoken commentary to (a film, television program, etc.): to narrate a slide show.
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verb (used without object), nar·rat·ed, nar·rat·ing.
  1. to relate or recount events, experiences, etc., in speech or writing.
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Origin of narrate

1650–60; < Latin narrātus (past participle of narrāre to relate, tell, say), equivalent to nār(us) knowing, acquainted with (variant of gnārus; see cognition) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsnar·rat·a·ble, adjectivenar·ra·tor, nar·rat·er [nar-ey-ter, na-rey-, nar-uh-] /ˈnær eɪ tər, næˈreɪ-, ˈnær ə-/, nounmis·nar·rate, verb, mis·nar·rat·ed, mis·nar·rat·ing.un·nar·rat·a·ble, adjectiveun·nar·rat·ed, adjectivewell-nar·rat·ed, adjective


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1. detail, recite.

Synonym study

1. See describe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for narrater


  1. to tell (a story); relate
  2. to speak in accompaniment of (a film, television programme, etc)
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Derived Formsnarratable, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin narrāre to recount, from gnārus knowing


  1. a person who tells a story or gives an account of something
  2. a person who speaks in accompaniment of a film, television programme, etc
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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 narrater



1610s, from Latin narrator "a relater, narrator, historian," agent noun from narrat-, stem of narrare "to tell, relate" (see narration). In sense of "a commentator in a radio program" it is from 1941.

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1748, back-formation from narration or else from Latin narratus, past participle of narrare "to tell, relate, recount" (see narration). "Richardson and Johnson call it Scottish" [OED], a stigma which kept it from general use until 19c. A few mid-17c. instances are traceable to Spanish narrar. Related: Narrated; narrating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

narrater in Culture


A person who tells a story; in literature, the voice that an author takes on to tell a story. This voice can have a personality quite different from the author's. For example, in his story “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Edgar Allan Poe makes his narrator a raving lunatic.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.