1 : to consider happy or fortunate
2 : to offer congratulations to
The other swimmers politely felicitated the winner of the race.
"The rising music stars, all of whom are first-prize winners of the All India Radio Competition 2011, will be felicitated in the morning inaugural session."-From an article in Screen, January 13, 2012
Did You Know?
"Felix," a Latin adjective meaning "happy" or "fruitful," is the root of our English words "felicity" and "felicitate." The former is the older of the two; it dates back to the 14th century and refers to the state of being happy or to something that makes people happy. When writing King Lear, William Shakespeare was probably pleased when he thought of the word "felicitate" as an adjective meaning "made happy," but not everyone took a shine to it and it fell into disuse. However, people were happy to pick up "felicitate" as a verb meaning "to make happy." That meaning is now considered archaic but it was the seed for other meanings of the word. "Felicitate" eventually grew to mean "to consider happy or fortunate" and "to congratulate."
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Memory
What is the meaning of "extemporaneous," our Word of the Day from February 19? The answer is ...