celebrate

verb
cel·​e·​brate | \ ˈse-lə-ˌbrāt How to pronounce celebrate (audio) \
celebrated; celebrating

Definition of celebrate

transitive verb

1 : to perform (a sacrament or solemn ceremony) publicly and with appropriate rites A priest celebrates Mass.
2a : to honor (an occasion, such as a holiday) especially by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business The nation celebrates Memorial Day.
b : to mark (something, such as an anniversary) by festivities or other deviation from routine celebrated their 25th anniversary
3 : to hold up or play up for public notice her poetry celebrates the glory of nature

intransitive verb

1 : to observe a holiday, perform a religious ceremony, or take part in a festival The holiday revelers celebrated all day long.
2 : to observe a notable occasion with festivities decided the only way to celebrate was to have a party

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Other Words from celebrate

celebration \ ˌse-​lə-​ˈbrā-​shən How to pronounce celebration (audio) \ noun
celebrative \ ˈse-​lə-​ˌbrā-​tiv How to pronounce celebrative (audio) \ adjective
celebrator \ ˈse-​lə-​ˌbrā-​tər How to pronounce celebrator (audio) \ noun
celebratory \ ˈse-​lə-​brə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce celebratory (audio) , ˌse-​lə-​ˈbrā-​tə-​rē \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for celebrate

keep, observe, celebrate, commemorate mean to notice or honor a day, occasion, or deed. keep stresses the idea of not neglecting or violating. kept the Sabbath by refraining from work observe suggests marking the occasion by ceremonious performance. not all holidays are observed nationally celebrate suggests acknowledging an occasion by festivity. traditionally celebrates Thanksgiving with a huge dinner commemorate suggests that an occasion is marked by observances that remind one of the origin and significance of the event. commemorate Memorial Day with the laying of wreaths

Examples of celebrate in a Sentence

We are celebrating my birthday by going out to dinner. The family gathered to celebrate Christmas. We are celebrating our anniversary next week. They are celebrating the birth of their third child. The book celebrates the movies of the past. Her lecture celebrated the genius of the artist. He is celebrated for his contributions to modern science. A priest celebrates Mass at the church daily.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This is thanks to Dwell with Dignity, a Dallas nonprofit that celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This Nonprofit Helps Designers Change People's Lives," 3 Apr. 2019 Of course, this isn’t the first time Miley has embraced her Hannah Montana past as of late: celebrating the series 13th anniversary and even hinting at the release of her forthcoming seventh studio album with Hannah Montana imagery. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Got a Hannah Montana Haircut and Sang "Nobody’s Perfect" and "Best of Both Worlds"," 29 Mar. 2019 The Duchess visited Gilwell Park, to celebrate the site's 100th anniversary, and to learn about the U.K. Scout's new program for younger children. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Wears a Casual-Chic Look to Visit with U.K. Scouts," 28 Mar. 2019 The prime minister was on the island to celebrate the anniversary of Greece’s 1821 revolution against the Ottoman Empire, the precursor to modern-day Turkey. Elena Becatoros, The Seattle Times, "Greek PM: Turkish fighter jets harassed my helicopter," 25 Mar. 2019 To celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Elder Scrolls, Bethesda is giving away free copies of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, a.k.a. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Free copies of Morrowind, Divinity: Original Sin 2 gets a tactics spinoff," 25 Mar. 2019 The network is gearing up for its annual Countdown to Christmas special, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Everything We Know About Hallmark Christmas Movies for 2019," 17 Mar. 2019 Sonia Rykiel, a brand synonymous with Left Bank joie de vivre and stripes, celebrated its 50th anniversary in spectacular fashion last year. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Julie de Libran Exits Sonia Rykiel After Five Years as Artistic Director," 14 Mar. 2019 Sweetin plays Lucy, a fifth-grade teacher who is surrounded by love — her parents are celebrating their 40th anniversary and her sister is expecting her first child — but feels anything but lucky in that department. Lindsey O'connell, Woman's Day, "Exclusive! Watch a Sneak Peek of Hallmark Channel’s New Movie with Jodie Sweetin from 'Fuller House'," 5 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'celebrate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of celebrate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for celebrate

Middle English celebraten, borrowed from Latin celebrātus, past participle of celebrāre "to throng, frequent, observe (an occasion, festivity), praise" (probably originally back-formation from earlier concelebrāre "to frequent, honor"), derivative of celebr-, celeber "much used, frequented, widely known, famed," probably going back to *kelesri-, of uncertain origin

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Statistics for celebrate

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for celebrate

The first known use of celebrate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for celebrate

celebrate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of celebrate

: to do something special or enjoyable for an important event, occasion, holiday, etc.
formal : to praise (someone or something) : to say that (someone or something) is great or important
formal : to perform (a religious ceremony)

celebrate

verb
cel·​e·​brate | \ ˈse-lə-ˌbrāt How to pronounce celebrate (audio) \
celebrated; celebrating

Kids Definition of celebrate

1 : to observe (a holiday or important occasion) in some special way
2 : to perform (a religious ceremony)
3 : praise entry 1 sense 1 We should celebrate the freedoms we have.

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Comments on celebrate

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