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  • commemorate
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kuh-MEM-uh-rayt\
  • DEFINITION

verb

1
: to call to remembrance
2
: to mark by some ceremony or observation : observe
3
: to serve as a memorial of
  • EXAMPLES

A plaque commemorates the battle that took place on the spot 200 years ago.

"Pictorial postmarks are event postmarks offered by the Postal Service to commemorate local community events, such as fairs, conventions or other types of local celebrations." — From an article in the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine), May 14, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

When you remember something, you are mindful of it. It's appropriate, therefore, that "commemorate" and other related memory-associated words (including "memorable," "memorial," "remember," and "memory" itself) come from the Latin root "memor," meaning "mindful." Some distant older relatives are Old English "gemimor" ("well-known"), Greek "mermēra" ("care"), and Sanskrit "smarati" ("he remembers"). English speakers have been marking the memory of important events with "commemorate" since the late 16th century.

Test Your Memory: What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "The cabin we'd rented was the __________ of country charm: wide pine floors, simple sturdy furniture, and clean linen curtains billowing in the breeze of the open windows"? The answer is ...

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