Definition of generate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Cause (something, especially an emotion or situation) to arise or come about.

    ‘changes that are likely to generate controversy’
    ‘generate more jobs in the economy’
    • ‘Career advantage generates its own enthusiasm.’
    • ‘If you're looking for a project that generates enthusiasm and excitement, give this a try.’
    • ‘We created a website, generated some revenue, and gained 10,500 customers.’
    • ‘It would be a place for ideas to be generated and developed to create new products and services within the digital industry.’
    • ‘The lack of other vitamins, such as B1, B2, B6 and C, can generate feelings of irritability and depression.’
    • ‘Every day, a creation takes place as new uses, new mistakes, new copy is generated, each creating a new meaning for the shape of things to come.’
    • ‘It has also begun importing items such as bags, made using traditional weaving skills, generating an income for villagers with very little money.’
    • ‘It will also create jobs and generate income for the local economy.’
    • ‘This case scenario generates many emotions, as is evident by the uncomfortable feelings expressed by the physician who is caring for this particular couple.’
    • ‘Her job is not to generate sympathy for the accuser.’
    • ‘They need to create a foundation with the bulk of that cash and generate income from it.’
    • ‘Vision gives you purpose, and that purpose generates faith and confidence.’
    • ‘If they are given a little freedom, I would think there is a fair chance they will generate plenty of ideas, and among them, maybe some answers will start to emerge.’
    • ‘Those are assets that can only be used as a shelter or as business tools, but not as a means to obtain collateral for a loan, to generate investment or to create additional functions to obtain surplus value.’
    • ‘This mental activity generates desires and emotional reactions.’
    • ‘This groundswell of emotion doesn't generate anger - there wasn't much in evidence on Saturday - so much as stubborn resistance.’
    • ‘First, it frees individual worshipers from dependence on their feelings - from having to generate certain emotions in order to truly worship.’
    • ‘When we move forward we will do everything we can to generate income to restrict to a minimum the sale of players.’
    • ‘Third, some cases generate pride of ownership.’
    • ‘The enactment of rent control generates new opportunities for competition among tenants.’
    • ‘It will certainly generate enthusiasm for maths, and the web site is fun to use.’
    • ‘It is a closed economic system with a built-in mechanism for generating shortages and fiscal crises, for which there is no solution.’
    • ‘The user creates montages to generate new antiwar argumentation.’
    • ‘More significantly, income and publicity was generated by sustained progress in Europe.’
    • ‘Kitchen and bathroom walls can generate high levels of noise because of the many hard surfaces they contain.’
    • ‘It was written by a very good critic whom I quite respect, but he was trying to create a scandal to generate publicity.’
    • ‘The passion and emotion generated by war unquestionably account for its durability and its tendency to spawn new and more vengeful conflicts afterward.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, the situation is generating huge frustration.’
    • ‘The shame generated by this denial of the body was a lesson I was meant to learn, and I'm sure did learn to some degree.’
    • ‘Over the next few years, the number of casinos could increase two-fold, creating an industry that generates millions of pounds.’
    • ‘With this scheme, the bank intends to improve customer convenience, reduce customer traffic at branches and create opportunities to generate a fee income.’
    • ‘Yes, you can generate sales - but equally, you can generate goodwill or an emotional bond.’
    • ‘Investing creates an asset that generates passive income such as rent on a property or profits from a business venture.’
    • ‘The more Web savvy firms are more than twice as successful in generating sales and creating a better ‘customer experience’, said the report.’
    • ‘He spontaneously generates melodic lines and develops them at length, so that one is left incredulous that this is all improvised.’
    • ‘All should take care not to fall prey to the manipulation behind the stunts, and the emotions generated by them.’
    • ‘This encourages private investor interest, and generates employment opportunities.’
    • ‘Nine tonnes of waste are generated to create a 2.3kg laptop computer.’
    • ‘They generate the story line, which can be quite bizarre!’
    • ‘These allow older people to use their homes to generate income or lump sums, either with a mortgage repayable on death or by selling the property - or part of it - but continuing to live in it during their lifetime.’
    cause, give rise to, lead to, result in, bring about, bring into being, create, make, produce, initiate, engender, spawn, sow the seeds of, occasion, effect, originate, bring to pass, bring on, precipitate, prompt, provoke, kindle, trigger, spark off, touch off, stir up, whip up, induce, inspire, promote, foster, conjure
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Produce (energy, especially electricity).
      • ‘But in its decision this week it had to abandon one potential sustainable building feature - a roof-mounted wind turbine to generate electricity.’
      • ‘The Austrians have voted not to generate electricity from nuclear power stations.’
      • ‘Today the windmills are taller and sleeker and called wind turbines, and use the wind's energy to generate electricity.’
      • ‘A possible explanation is that fast-moving blowing dust particles generated static electricity, which ignited organic matter carried along with the dust.’
      • ‘Peat was used in power stations to generate electricity and the country had three briquette factories.’
      • ‘Fossil fuels (I'm guessing natural gas in particular) are the lowest cost energy sources for generating electricity.’
      • ‘The fuel cell generates electricity as a by-product of a chemical reaction involving dilute methanol.’
      • ‘Solar energy is used to generate electricity through photovoltaic arrays, and to heat water by direct radiation.’
      • ‘The world's first floating power station, generating electricity from the Atlantic waves, is to be established off the west coast of Scotland.’
      • ‘Electricity is generated by the power station during peak demand periods.’
      • ‘These oscillating sound waves in the traveling-wave engine drive the piston of a linear alternator that generates electricity.’
      • ‘So while it costs approximately 2 cents a kilowatt hour to generate electricity from coal, solar energy still costs about 10 times that amount.’
      • ‘Nutrients can be reused via irrigation, and the extracted energy can be used to generate heat and electricity.’
      • ‘In particular, I am thinking about our ability to generate energy or electricity.’
      • ‘Electricity is usually generated through natural energy power (hydro-electric, thermal, wind).’
      • ‘When waves cause the coil to move up and down relative to the fixed magnetic shaft, voltage is induced and electricity is generated.’
      • ‘Incineration that uses the energy produced to generate electricity is much more straightforward and cost-effective, and could replace to some extent newly extracted carbon fuels.’
      • ‘The resulting chemical reaction across the membrane breaks down the methanol, generating electricity along with water vapor and carbon dioxide as byproducts.’
      • ‘Water constitutes cost-free energy for generating electricity that is perpetually renewable and sustainable.’
      • ‘When people exercise, their muscles consume energy and generate heat as a byproduct.’
    2. 1.2Mathematics Linguistics Produce (a set or sequence of items) by performing specified mathematical or logical operations on an initial set.
      • ‘That is, the grid of initial guesses generates a set of ‘best fits’, one for each initial guess.’
      • ‘All sequence data sets were generated using the evolver program.’
      • ‘The solid line is generated by use of Equation 1, whereas the dashed line simply connects the observed data for completely linked duplicates.’
      • ‘The Fibonacci sequence is generated by adding the previous two numbers in the list together to form the next and so on and so on…’
      • ‘The black line indicates the experimental data, while the overlaid white line was generated using the rheological model described for tomato fruit epidermis by Thompson using parameters fitted to the data.’
    3. 1.3Linguistics Produce (a sentence or other unit, especially a well-formed one) by the application of a finite set of rules to lexical or other linguistic input.
      • ‘In the typical application, a software program generates a phrase or sentence to be spoken by the computer.’
      • ‘The original purpose of the formal grammars was generating sentences of a human language.’
      • ‘The sentences can be generated by the application of general rules for the combination of the words.’
      • ‘To enhance our exemplar words and generate sentences to illustrate word meanings, we enlisted the support of the other participating teachers.’
    4. 1.4Mathematics Form (a line, surface, or solid) by notionally moving a point, line, or surface.
      • ‘Once designers make 3D curves, these are used to generate surfaces.’
      • ‘Proclus defines a spiric surface as being the surface generated by a circle revolving about a straight line called the axis of revolution and always remaining in the same plane as this axis.’
      • ‘The concrete realisation uses the pseudosphere, a surface generated by the revolution of a tractrix about its asymptote.’


Early 16th century (in the sense ‘beget, procreate’): from Latin generat- ‘created’, from the verb generare, from genus, gener- ‘stock, race’.