verb con·grat·u·late \kən-ˈgra-chə-ˌlāt, -ˈgra-jə-\

: to tell (someone) that you are happy because of his or her success or good luck

: to feel pleased with (yourself)


Full Definition of CONGRATULATE

transitive verb
archaic :  to express sympathetic pleasure at (an event)
:  to express vicarious pleasure to (a person) on the occasion of success or good fortune <graciously congratulated the winner>; also :  to feel pleased with <congratulating herself for a job well done>
obsolete :  salute, greet
con·grat·u·la·tor \-ˌlā-tər\ noun
con·grat·u·la·to·ry \-lə-ˌtr-ē\ adjective


  1. I'd like to congratulate you on your success.
  2. She congratulated us on our test results.
  3. She congratulated herself for getting the best grade in her class.


Latin congratulatus, past participle of congratulari to wish joy, from com- + gratulari to wish joy, from gratus pleasing — more at grace
First Known Use: 1539


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CONGRATULATE Defined for Kids


verb con·grat·u·late \kən-ˈgra-chə-ˌlāt\

Definition of CONGRATULATE for Kids

:  to express pleasure on account of success or good fortune <I congratulated the winner.>


The Latin word gratus, meaning pleasing or thankful, gives us the root grat. Words from the Latin gratus have something to do with being pleasing or being thankful. To ingratiate yourself is to make others feel thankful for something you've done. To feel grateful is to feel thankful for something. Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness. To congratulate is to express how pleasing someone's success is.


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