Definition of copulate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkäpyəˌlāt/


[no object]
Have sexual intercourse.
Example sentences
  • Males typically respond to persistent female sexual initiation by mounting and copulating with the female.
  • As adults, men look at porn because they are, ‘unnaturally’ one might say, hormonally driven to copulate with multiple partners but unable to do so.
  • So if we have one man and one woman who copulate in the standard way, and not in any kind of other way that we find troubling, then they can raise children.



Pronunciation: /-ləˌtôrē/
Example sentences
  • The penis serves as an outlet for urine and semen and as a copulatory organ.
  • Throughout the study period, all mounting behavior and complete copulatory sequences (those involving intromission and ejaculation) were recorded during critical incident sampling.
  • For each male, we used the number of observed copulations as an estimate of his total copulatory success.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'join'): from Latin copulat- 'fastened together', from the verb copulare, from copula (see copula).

  • couple from Middle English:

    This comes via Old French from Latin copulare formed from co- ‘together’ and apere ‘fasten’. The term couplet (late 16th century) used in poetry for a pair of successive (usually rhyming) lines, means literally ‘little pair’. Copulate (Late Middle English) at first meant ‘join’ and is from the same source.

Words that rhyme with copulate


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cop·u·late

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.