celebrate

verb
cel·​e·​brate | \ ˈse-lə-ˌbrāt \
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 \ noun
celebrative \ ˈse-​lə-​ˌbrā-​tiv \ adjective
celebrator \ ˈse-​lə-​ˌbrā-​tər \ noun
celebratory \ ˈse-​lə-​brə-​ˌtȯr-​ē , 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

With more than 275,000 degree-seeking students, CUNY is celebrated for launching low-income young adults into promising careers. WSJ, "City University of New York Struggles to Fill Top Job," 9 Jan. 2019 These things all create this relevancy where vegetables have never been celebrated in that way. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Sweetgreen thinks like a tech company," 17 Dec. 2018 The People Awards celebrates 50 famous people who made history and changed the world for the better, including Olaudah Equiano, Simon Bolivar, Marie Curie and more. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 17 best kids’ books about design and cities," 12 Dec. 2018 Any beauty brand that is trying to make a difference for animal welfare should be celebrated and championed. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup," 29 Nov. 2018 The name stuck at a local level and slowly spread throughout the U.S., but wasn’t celebrated and instead held a negative conntation. Rebekka Ayres, Teen Vogue, "Black Friday, Explained: A Complete History," 23 Nov. 2018 Thanksgiving had been celebrated on the last Thursday of the month since the time of Abraham Lincoln. Cierra Williams, Country Living, "Here's Why Thanksgiving Is So Early This Year," 14 Nov. 2018 Some are celebrated for their classic comforts, while others rank for their state-of-the-art attractions: think indoor waterfalls, butterfly gardens, ice skating rinks, nap rooms, movie theaters, swimming pools, and more. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Airports in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 The shooting also prompted questions about the training of Noor, a two-year veteran and Somali-American whose arrival on the force had been celebrated by city leaders and Minnesota's large Somali community. Fox News, "Officer who fatally shot Justine Damond charged with murder, turns himself in," 2 Oct. 2018

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

15 Jan 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.

: to praise (someone or something) : to say that (someone or something) is great or important

: to perform (a religious ceremony)

celebrate

verb
cel·​e·​brate | \ ˈse-lə-ˌbrāt \
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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