Definition of communicate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪt//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they communicate
    BrE BrE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪt//
    he / she / it communicates
    BrE BrE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪts//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪts//
    past simple communicated
    BrE BrE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪtɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪtɪd//
    past participle communicated
    BrE BrE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪtɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪtɪd//
    -ing form communicating
    BrE BrE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪtɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kəˈmjuːnɪkeɪtɪŋ//
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    exchange information
  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to exchange information, news, ideas, etc. with somebody We only communicate by email. 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 somebody Synonymstalkdiscuss speak communicate debate consultThese words all mean to share news, information, ideas or feelings with another person or other people, especially by talking with them.talk to speak in order to give information, express feelings or share ideas:We talked on the phone for over an hour.discuss (rather 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 somebody about something; to have a conversation with somebody:I’ve spoken to the manager about it. ‘Can I speak to 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 somebody about something to try to achieve a particular goal or to tell them to do something. You talk to somebody 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 (rather formal) to exchange information or ideas with somebody:We only communicate by email. 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 (rather formal) to discuss something with somebody in order to get their permission for something, or to help you make a decision:You shouldn’t have done it without consulting me.Patterns to talk/​discuss something/​speak/​communicate/​debate/​consult with somebody to talk/​speak to somebody to talk/​speak to somebody/​consult somebody about something to talk/​speak of 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.
  7. of two rooms
  8. 5[intransitive] if two rooms communicate, they are next to each other and you can get from one to the other a communicating door (= one that connects two rooms)
  9. Word Originearly 16th cent.: from Latin communicat- ‘shared’, from the verb communicare ‘to share’, from communis ‘common’.Extra examples By this age most children have begun to communicate verbally. Newspapers are an important way of communicating information. She is unable to communicate her ideas to other people. We communicated through an interpreter. We usually communicate by letter. couples who communicate well with one another Nobody had communicated the information to us.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: communicate