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

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 Medical workers have been celebrated for their commitment to treating coronavirus patients. New York Times, "Coronavirus Live Updates: Obama Cites Need for Leadership," 17 May 2020 Antonio celebrated her graduation from Arizona State University, adorned in a cap and gown, with her family on the Navajo reservation on Monday. Katelyn Reinhart, azcentral, "A pandemic, injury and unreliable internet are 3 of the obstacles a Navajo woman cleared to earn 3 degrees from ASU," 16 May 2020 Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin celebrated their nuptials with a wedding. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, "'I would've probably saved myself for marriage': Justin Bieber on what he would change," 16 May 2020 The real Catherine did things like celebrate her smallpox inoculation not with quiet reflection about the benefits of modern medicine but by having a ballet performed in the court in her honor. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, "The Great’s Empowerment Problem," 15 May 2020 On the Outer Banks, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund is celebrating the miraculous return (and incredible weight gain!) of a wild stallion that was believed to have died weeks ago. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Wild Stallion Thought to Be Dead Remerges from Outer Banks Swamp 150 Pounds Heavier," 15 May 2020 Three days earlier, Ned had celebrated a friend’s 75th birthday at Patio Español — the same party that Wilbur had attended. Lizzie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, "When the coronavirus came to San Francisco’s Bayview, it attacked the heart of the historically black neighborhood: the elders," 15 May 2020 But researchers won't be celebrating until there's a vaccine that's safe and effective in people. Jonathan Lapook, CBS News, "Monkey trial of Oxford vaccine shows encouraging results," 15 May 2020 The news was not uniformly celebrated across the web. Louise Matsakis, Wired, "Buying Giphy Gives Facebook a New Window Into Its Rivals," 15 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for celebrate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for celebrate

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Celebrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/celebrate. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for celebrate

celebrate

verb
How to pronounce celebrate (audio)

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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