The Meaning of Collate: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of collate? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word collate, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word collate mean?

According to Cambridge English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Language Dictionary, the word collate (pronounced ˈkoʊ leɪt) is a verb that is used to mean to bring together written information for the purposes of comparison, as well as to collect and arrange various documents or pages into a correct order. This word is almost exclusively used with written information, but can also be used with data or information for the purposes of comparison. Often, the word collate describes placing sheets of paper into proper order. If these pages are out of order, they are considered uncollated. Try using this word of the day or other new words in a sentence today!

Many different languages also contain words that mean collate. You may find that some of these words look and sound similar to each other. This is likely because they are of a similar origin. Usually, cognates are formed when two words have a common ancestor such as Latin or Greek. Cognates are words that look, sound, and mean something similar across languages. This list of translations for the word collate is provided by Word Sense.

  • Turkish: karşılaştırarak okumak‎
  • Finnish: vertailla‎
  • Spanish: cotejar‎
  • Bulgarian: сравнявам‎ (sravnjávam)
  • Portuguese: cotejar‎
  • German: abgleichen‎, kollationieren‎, vergleichen‎, zuordnen‎
  • French: collationner‎
  • Russian: сопоставля́ть‎ (impf), сопоста́вить‎ (pf), сра́внивать‎ (impf), сравни́ть‎ (pf) (compare), слича́ть‎ (impf), сличи́ть‎ (pf) (compare)

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word collate?

There are many different words that are synonyms for the word collate. Synonyms are words and phrases that have the same or a similar definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are a useful English language tool because they can help you to avoid repeating the same word over and over again while simultaneously expanding your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word collate is provided by Thesaurus

  • grade
  • separate
  • size up
  • pigeonhole
  • adduce
  • put to rights
  • collect
  • winnow
  • compose
  • tab
  • arrange
  • gather
  • assort
  • file
  • screen
  • comb
  • match
  • relate
  • order
  • put in shape
  • group
  • typecast
  • categorize
  • catalogue
  • systematize
  • put down as
  • classify
  • divide
  • button down
  • cull
  • contrast
  • sift
  • select
  • sort
  • peg
  • assemble
  • bracket
  • analogize
  • put in order
  • compare
  • examine
  • rank
  • riddle
  • class
  • put down for
  • pick
  • choose
  • distribute
  • verify

There are also a number of words that mean the opposite of the word collate. These are known as antonyms, which are words and phrases that have the opposite definitions as another word or phrase. Antonyms are also a useful tool to expand a person’s vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word collate is also provided by Thesaurus

  • shed
  • disperse
  • dissipate
  • spread
  • disject
  • cast
  • diffuse
  • divide
  • discard
  • disband
  • sunder
  • scatter
  • put to flight
  • litter
  • broadcast
  • migrate
  • split up
  • strew
  • dispel
  • throw out
  • expend
  • besprinkle
  • fling
  • set asunder
  • separate
  • disseminate
  • distribute
  • spray
  • shower
  • take off in all directions
  • disunite
  • pour
  • throw around
  • shatter
  • sever
  • derange
  • sprinkle
  • part
  • spend
  • scramble
  • run away
  • diverge
  • sow
  • intersperse
  • set

How can the word collate be used in a sentence?

The word collate can be used in numerous different situations to describe wither comparing two pieces of information or sorting written or printed documents. In this example, Trevor is working as an assistant to Rick. He is having trouble with the copier.

Rick: Where is that report?

Trevor: I’m sorry. I can get it to print but I can’t get it to collate. All of these hundred pages are basically in random order. I’m trying to fix it, I’ll share it with you as soon as I can.

Rick: Why don’t you stop relying on an auto-collate function, and actually do some work for a change? They aren’t worthed? Sort them! That’s what I had to do when I was your age.

In this example, Trevor is trying to explain to his boss that the function on the printer that would normally sort the pages is not working. His boss offers the unhelpful advice that he should sort them by hand. In this next example, the word collate will be sued to describe some comparison of information. Here, Trevor is making edits to a yearly income report.

Rebecca: What are you doing?

Trevor: Rick wants these yearly income reports hand collated so he can see the difference in how much money he made this year and last year… so nice to see that he makes millions and he still says he can’t afford to pay me over minimum wage!

What is the origin of the word collate?

According to Etymonline, the word collate has been used since the 1610s to mean to bring together and compare, as well as to examine critically. This word comes from the Latin collatus, which is the irregular past participle of conferre, meaning to bring together. This Latin word is made up of the root com, meaning with as well as the root lātus meaning borne or carried. This is used specifically with respect documents and bookbinding most often in the modern day. In bookbinding, the term collate is used to refer to the verification of the correct order of the pages. This meaning has been in use since the 1770s. Related words include collation, coalition, collated, collating, confer, decollate, collator, oblate, and decollator.

Overall, the word collate is a verb that can either be used to mean to compare two pieces of written information or data, or to place the pages of a document or other written word into a proper order. In this case, the second page would follow the first, etc. Make sure that your pages are correctly collated for a perfect bound book!

Sources:

  1. https://www.wordsense.eu/collate/
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/collate
  3. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/scatter
  4. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/collate
  5. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/collate
  6. https://www.etymonline.com/word/collate#etymonline_v_15824