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

Other Words from celebrate

celebration \ ˌse-​lə-​ˈbrā-​shən How to pronounce celebrate (audio) \ noun
celebrative \ ˈse-​lə-​ˌbrā-​tiv How to pronounce celebrate (audio) \ adjective
celebrator \ ˈse-​lə-​ˌbrā-​tər How to pronounce celebrate (audio) \ noun

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Last night, the Parsons Benefit reunited friends and fashion folk to celebrate the work of recent graduates and honor visionary leaders who serve as not only members but also mentors in the creative community. Vogue, 24 May 2022 A couple hundred people attended the inaugural Pine Craig Games to celebrate Caroline Martin Mitchell, who in the 20th century donated land to the city that includes the land on which the Settlement sits as well as a large swath of downtown. Giles Bruce, Chicago Tribune, 23 May 2022 Scott Disick did not join the Kardashian and Jenner family in Italy this weekend to celebrate the nuptials of his ex, Kourtney Kardashian, to musician Travis Barker. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 23 May 2022 To celebrate their love, here are a few of our favorite pictures of Woods and Towns. Elizabeth Ayoola, Essence, 23 May 2022 To celebrate Jackson's big day, the Roloff family hosted an adorable birthday party. Good Housekeeping Editors, Good Housekeeping, 23 May 2022 The big wedding day arrives and Firehouse 51 welcomes Casey back to celebrate the joyous occasion. Rodney Ho, ajc, 23 May 2022 The end goal is what the players and fans saw on the floor Sunday — a team coming together to celebrate history. Matthew Vantryon, The Indianapolis Star, 22 May 2022 To celebrate this innovator, visitors will be able to join in the fun and fly a kite of their own, take part in free stunt kite lessons, and even enjoy kite making, which is a perfect way for kids to get crafty. Baltimore Sun, 22 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for celebrate

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

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Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Celebrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/celebrate. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for celebrate


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on celebrate

Nglish: Translation of celebrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of celebrate for Arabic Speakers


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