Skip to main content


gen·er·ate / ˈjenəˌrāt/ • v. [tr.] cause (something, esp. an emotion or situation) to arise or come about: changes that are likely to generate controversy generate more jobs in the economy. ∎  produce (energy, esp. electricity). ∎  produce (a set or sequence of items) by performing specified mathematical or logical operations on an initial set. ∎  Linguistics produce (a sentence or other unit, esp. a well-formed one) by the application of a finite set of rules to lexical or other linguistic input. ∎  Math. form (a line, surface, or solid) by notionally moving a point, line, or surface. DERIVATIVES: gen·er·a·ble / ˈjenərəbəl/ adj. ORIGIN: early 16th cent. (in the sense ‘beget, procreate’): from Latin generat- ‘created,’ from the verb generare, from genus, gener- ‘stock, race.’

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"generate." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . 15 Feb. 2019 <>.

"generate." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . (February 15, 2019).

"generate." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved February 15, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.