Is "pronunciate" a word? At first it doesn't seem to be, but why not? "Pronunciation" and "pronunciative" seem to be words, so it would seem natural that "pronunciate" would be.

After Googling, I found the following here:

"Pronunciate" is a word that isn't listed in most dictionaries; Dictionary.com does mention it, but it noted that "pronunciate" is used rarely. If you use it, most people will think that you meant to use "pronounce" but screwed up. Our tip is that you use "pronounce" instead of "pronunciate," unless you want to look like a person who uses "irregardless."

"Pronunciate" can also be found on dictionary.com:

Definition: to declare or pronounce

Furthermore, I have heard the use of this word fairly often in speech. I have always assumed it was a word.

Despite all of this evidence, "pronunciate" seems to have very little usage (see dictionary.com link), and is not listed in most major dictionaries, including the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I have tried typing "pronunciate" on computers, and all spellcheck programs I have tried has flagged it as a typo.

Is "pronunciate" a word? Is it ok to use it in a sentence? This will probably come down to whether common usage has created this word. In you answer, please back yourself up with applicable evidence/proof.


  • 2
    Some words are just mistakes that became words. It's annoying. But that's what pretty much all words are right now. Your teacher should mark you down for using pronunciate though.
    – Mitch
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 13:59
  • 4
    It is non-standard usage. If you want a (prescriptive) guide to standard American usage (in other words, a dictionary that will tell you what most people think is the "right" word to use in formal writing), the American Heritage Dictionary is a good resource. If you are looking for a descriptive dictionary that will tell you what most people actually use, the Merriam-Webster family of dictionaries are good for non-scholarly uses, and the Oxford English Dictionary is best for serious research of usage. All three likely would not include "pronunciate." Commented May 8, 2014 at 14:03
  • 6
    Why not? Because pronunciation is formed from the verb pronounce, and it reduces the /aw/ vowel to /ə/ because the -ation suffix shifts the stress to the next syllable. *Pronunciate is a back-formation from pronunciation, but there appears to be no demand for another way to pronounce pronounce, so it's simply not used. OK? Commented May 8, 2014 at 15:35
  • 1
    Note to the unwise: If someone uses any speech at all, it is valid linguistically. Linguists don't say that words don't exist if someone utters them. That said, it is not a standard word (in any variety of English). And it's the kind of thing that immediately identifies someone's level of education. That is just a fact.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 13:04
  • 1
    The full (subscription-only) OED does list the verb usage, but they say it's obsolete, rare (and the same for two separate entries for the adjectival usage). Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 16:38

3 Answers 3


As there is the verb to pronounce from French prononcer and Latin pronuntiare, there is no need to coin a second verb from pronunciation.

To pronounce has been in use for over 500 years, so a second and longer verb is unnecessary.


Based on your research, it looks like many common dictionaries don’t contain that word.

You’re better off using pronounce instead of pronunciate.

  • I didn't say that it's not a word; I said that many common dictionaries don't consider it a word. Commented May 8, 2014 at 18:27
  • 2
    Ah but yes you did. The OED considers many things words that it does not itself mention. Therefore you cannot say that because a dictionary does not contain a word that it does not consider it a word.
    – tchrist
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 18:28
  • 1
    "Ah but yes you did." - Eh, I don't agree with your view on what I said but there's really no point in us getting into an argument about it. "The OED considers many things words that it does not itself mention." - Fair enough; I've updated my answer above. Commented May 8, 2014 at 18:33

It is possible that the word people are searching for when using the term "pronunciate" and/or which may be preferable to the word "pronounce" is enunciate which is defined on Dictionary.com as "[to] say or pronounce clearly".

This answer was originally submitted as an edit and (rightly) rejected. However, @MalFunctionality, made a pertinent observation.

@Marthaª, in the comments, also said:

This looks like a (probably unintended) portmanteau of pronounce and enunciate. I can't imagine what it's intended to mean, though

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.