Etymology
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locate (v.)

1650s, intransitive, "establish oneself in a place, settle, adopt a fixed residence," from Latin locatus, past participle of locare "to place, put, set, dispose, arrange," from locus "a place" (see locus).

Transitive sense of "to fix (something) in a place, settle or establish (something) in a particular spot" is from 1739, American English, originally of land surveys. And via the notion of "mark the limits of" (a parcel of land) the sense of the verb extended to "establish (something) in a place" (1807) and "find out the exact place of" (1882, American English). Related: Located; locating.

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Definitions of locate

locate (v.)
discover the location of; determine the place of; find by searching or examining;
Can you locate your cousins in the Midwest?
Synonyms: turn up
locate (v.)
determine or indicate the place, site, or limits of, as if by an instrument or by a survey;
Our sense of sight enables us to locate objects in space
Synonyms: situate
locate (v.)
assign a location to;
The company located some of their agents in Los Angeles
Synonyms: place / site
locate (v.)
take up residence and become established;
Synonyms: settle
From wordnet.princeton.edu