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

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

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What does the word procreate mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Dictionary, the word procreate (pronounced ˈproʊkriˌeɪt) is a verb that means to beget or generate offspring. This term can be used as either a transitive or an intransitive verb, meaning that it can be used with or without an object. Therefore, one could either say, “the squirrels are going to procreate because it is springtime,” or, “the squirrels are going to procreate offspring because it is springtime.” Try using this word of the day or other new words in a sentence today!

There are many different languages that also contain words that mean procreate. You may notice that some of these words look and sound a lot like the word procreate. These are called cognates, which are words that look, sound, and mean similar things across different languages. These are usually formed when two words or languages have a common origin or ancestral language such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word procreate is provided by Word Sense.

  • Spanish: procrear‎, reproducirse‎
  • Romanian: procrea‎
  • German: zeugen‎, fortpflanzen‎, vermehren‎
  • Japanese: 生む‎ (うむ, umu), 生殖‎
  • Catalan: procrear‎
  • Russian: производи́ть пото́мство‎ (impf), произвести́ пото́мство‎ (pf), порожда́ть‎ (impf), породи́ть‎ (pf), рожа́ть‎ (impf), рожда́ть‎ (impf), роди́ть‎ (pf), производи́ть на свет‎, произвести́ на свет‎
  • Ngazidja Comorian: zaya‎
  • Mandarin: 生育‎ (shēngyù), 生殖‎ (shēngzhí), 產生‎, 产生‎ (chǎnshēng)
  • French: procréer‎

What is the origin of the word procreate?

According to Etymonline, the word procreate has been used as a verb since the 1530s to mean to beget or reproduce. This word is a back-formation from the noun procreation. This word comes from the Latin prōcreātus which is the past participle of the Latin prōcreāre meaning to bring forth, or beget. This comes from the prefix pro meaning for and the root creare meaning to create. This comes from the Proto-Indo-European root ker meaning to grow. Related words include procreator (noun), procreation (noun), procreativeness (noun), procreative (adjective), procreated (past tense) and procreating (present progressive.)

How can the word procreate be used in a sentence?

The word procreate can be used in many different circumstances to refer to reproduction or creating offspring. In this example, Jana is teaching a class of seventh graders about human reproduction.

Jana: Alright class, today we are going to learn about how people procreate. Can anyone tell me what that is?

Student: Two people having a baby.

Jana: That’s correct. The word procreation can also refer to animals or even plants reproducing and creating more of their kind. Now, I know that this is a subject that can cause a lot of giggles for people your age, but let’s all try to be mature and look at this like we are scientists, okay?

Class: Okay.

Here, Jana uses the word procreate in reference to the birds and the bees talk that she is about to give her class. 

What are synonyms for the word procreate?

There are many different words that a person can sue in place of the term procreate. These are called synonyms. You may wonder why it would be useful to know different words that mean the same thing, when one will do the trick. First, knowing synonyms is very helpful to avoid repeating yourself. This can add variety to your written works and your everyday speech. Second, knowing synonyms is an easy way to expand your vocabulary. This can improve your eloquence and knowledge of the English language. This list of synonyms for the word procreate is provided by Thesaurus.

  • bring about
  • afford
  • result in
  • bring forth
  • multiply
  • progenerate
  • beget
  • bring
  • mother
  • give birth to
  • parent
  • give rise to
  • aggregate
  • generate
  • reproduce
  • bear
  • raise
  • repeat
  • proliferate
  • double
  • cube
  • rise
  • breed
  • add
  • expand
  • create
  • get
  • conceive
  • engender
  • deliver
  • accumulate
  • heighten
  • impregnate
  • hatch
  • aggrandize
  • propagate
  • boost
  • sire
  • make
  • produce
  • father
  • populate
  • originate
  • build up
  • compound
  • magnify
  • effect
  • cause
  • spread
  • manifold
  • extend
  • enlarge
  • induce
  • spawn
  • square
  • occasion
  • mount
  • augment

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning of the word procreate. These are called antonyms, which are also a useful grammatical device to know in order to expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word [rocreate is also provided by Thesaurus

  • let up
  • fulfill
  • achieve
  • slacken
  • wear down
  • perfect
  • droop
  • wind up
  • dwindle
  • effect
  • settle
  • close
  • bag it
  • do
  • fade
  • have done with
  • clinch
  • scrub
  • die down
  • lessen
  • check
  • lower
  • lighten
  • crumble
  • run low
  • determine
  • weaken
  • break up
  • shrink
  • put finishing touches on
  • peter out
  • hang it up
  • devaluate
  • quiet
  • decay
  • ease
  • waste
  • decline
  • evaporate
  • tail off
  • slump
  • round off
  • sink
  • wane
  • contract
  • make short work of
  • drop off
  • scratch
  • wither
  • degenerate
  • bring to a close
  • cease
  • calm down
  • get out of the way
  • lose edge
  • discharge
  • complete
  • decrease
  • abate
  • slow down
  • quell
  • fold
  • diminish
  • execute
  • sew up
  • slash
  • ebb
  • halt
  • restrain
  • curb
  • make
  • ultimate
  • reduce
  • drop
  • crown
  • deteriorate
  • conclude
  • stop
  • wrap
  • modify
  • accomplish
  • mop up
  • fall off
  • end
  • wrap up
  • slack off
  • curtail
  • deal with
  • round up
  • shrivel
  • dry up
  • top off
  • shutter
  • narrow down
  • finish
  • soften
  • finalize
  • terminate
  • subside
  • cut down
  • carry through
  • shut down
  • culminate
  • wear away
  • depreciate

Overall, the word procreate is a versatile word in American English. This is a verb that refers to individuals of a given animal reproducing or creating children. This verb can be used transitively or intransitively. This word is of Latin origin and stems from the past participle of prōcreāre. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.wordsense.eu/procreate/
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/procreate
  3. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/decrease
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/procreate
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/procreate#:~:text=transitive%20verb,or%20bring%20forth%20offspring%20%3A%20reproduce
  6. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/procreate