American English

Definition of communicate verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they communicate
    he / she / it communicates
    past simple communicated
    -ing form communicating
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    exchange information
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to exchange information, news, ideas, etc. with someone We only communicate by e-mail. They communicated in sign language. communicate with somebody/something Dolphins use sound to communicate with each other. communicate something (to somebody) to communicate information/a message to someone Thesaurustalkdiscuss speak communicate debate consultThese words all mean to share news, information, ideas, or feelings with another person or other people, especially by talking with to speak in order to give information, express feelings, or share ideas:We talked on the phone for over an hour.discuss (somewhat formal) to talk and share ideas on a subject or problem with other people, especially in order to decide something:Have you discussed the problem with anyone? You cannot say “discuss about something”:I'm not prepared to discuss about this on the phone.speak to talk to someone about something; to have a conversation with someone:I've spoken to the manager about it. “Can I speak with Susan?” “Speaking.” (= at the beginning of a telephone conversation)talk or speak?Speak can suggest a more formal level of communication than talk. You speak to or with someone about something to try to achieve a particular goal or to tell them to do something. You talk to or with someone in order to be friendly or to ask their advice:Have you talked to your parents about the problems you're having? I've spoken to Ed about it and he's promised not to let it happen again.communicate (somewhat formal) to exchange information or ideas with someone:We only communicate by e-mail. Dolphins use sound to communicate with each other. Communicate is often used when the speaker wants to draw attention to the means of communication used.debate to discuss something, especially formally, before making a decision or finding a solution:Politicians will be debating the bill later this week.consult (somewhat formal) to discuss something with someone in order to get their permission for something, or to help you make a decision:You shouldn't have changed your plans without consulting me.Patterns to talk/discuss something/speak/communicate/debate/consult with somebody to talk/speak to somebody to talk to somebody/speak to somebody/consult somebody about something
  2. share ideas/feelings
  3. 2[intransitive, transitive] to make your ideas, feelings, thoughts, etc. known to other people so that they understand them Candidates must be able to communicate effectively. communicate something (to somebody) He was eager to communicate his ideas to the group. Her nervousness was communicating itself to the children. communicate how/what, etc… They failed to communicate what was happening and why.
  4. 3[intransitive] communicate (with somebody) to have a good relationship because you are able to understand and talk about your own and other people's thoughts, feelings, etc. The novel is about a family who can't communicate with each other.
  5. disease
  6. 4[transitive, usually passive] communicate something to pass a disease from one person, animal, etc. to another The disease is communicated through dirty drinking water.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: communicate