verb cel·e·brate \ˈse-lə-ˌbrāt\

Definition of celebrate



  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to perform (a sacrament or solemn ceremony) publicly and with appropriate rites

  3. 2 a :  to honor (as a holiday) especially by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business b :  to mark (as an anniversary) by festivities or other deviation from routine

  4. 3 :  to hold up or play up for public notice <her poetry celebrates the glory of nature>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to observe a holiday, perform a religious ceremony, or take part in a festival

  7. 2 :  to observe a notable occasion with festivities


play \ˌse-lə-ˈbrā-shən\ noun


play \ˈse-lə-ˌbrā-tiv\ adjective


play \-tər\ noun


play \-brə-ˌtȯr-ē, ˌse-lə-ˈbrā-tə-rē\ adjective

Examples of celebrate in a sentence

  1. We are celebrating my birthday by going out to dinner.

  2. The family gathered to celebrate Christmas.

  3. We are celebrating our anniversary next week.

  4. They are celebrating the birth of their third child.

  5. The book celebrates the movies of the past.

  6. Her lecture celebrated the genius of the artist.

  7. He is celebrated for his contributions to modern science.

  8. A priest celebrates Mass at the church daily.

Origin and Etymology of celebrate

Middle English, from Latin celebratus, past participle of celebrare to frequent, celebrate, from celebr-, celeber much frequented, famous; perhaps akin to Latin celer

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of 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>.

keep, retain, detain, withhold, reserve mean to hold in one's possession or under one's control. keep may suggest a holding securely in one's possession, custody, or control <keep this while I'm gone>. retain implies continued keeping, especially against threatened seizure or forced loss <managed to retain their dignity even in poverty>. detain suggests a delay in letting go <detained them for questioning>. withhold implies restraint in letting go or a refusal to let go <withheld information from the authorities>. reserve suggests a keeping in store for future use <reserve some of your energy for the last mile>.

CELEBRATE Defined for English Language Learners


verb cel·e·brate \ˈse-lə-ˌbrāt\

Definition of celebrate for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids


verb cel·e·brate \ˈse-lə-ˌbrāt\

Definition of celebrate for Students



  1. 1 :  to observe (a holiday or important occasion) in some special way

  2. 2 :  to perform (a religious ceremony)

  3. 3 :  1praise 1 <We should celebrate the freedoms we have.>

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