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

The special occasion called for an outfit to match and the Queen celebrated her millennial moment by wearing 2019’s official Pantone color, living coral. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "The Queen Makes Her First Instagram Post in a Millennial Power Color," 7 Mar. 2019 The two-day trip is focused on celebrating young people and their achievements, but undoubtedly this visit was also meant to help calm anxieties about Brexit in the region. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Pippa Middleton Steps Out in a Striking Floor-Length Gown in London," 28 Feb. 2019 Steve Irwin's wife, Terri, has worked hard with her two children to celebrate the Crocodile Hunter's legacy—and he was recently honored with a Google Doodle for his 57th birthday. Katina Beniaris, Woman's Day, "Steve Irwin's Wife Reveals the Heartbreaking Reason Why She Hasn't Dated Since He Died," 22 Feb. 2019 And during the 2019 Golden Globes, several members of Queen showed up to honor the film and celebrate its wins for Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Best Actor (Drama). Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "What Queen Says About Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury In 'Bohemian Rhapsody'," 23 Feb. 2019 Bey later shared footage on her Instagram, celebrating the duchess in honor of Black History Month and congratulating her on her pregnancy. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meet the Artist Behind the Stunning Meghan Markle Portrait Featured by Beyoncé and Jay-Z," 21 Feb. 2019 Kristen seemed to be having a great time celebrating her former co-star. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner Just Had a Mini "Twilight" Reunion, But Where Was Robert Pattinson?," 13 Feb. 2019 Collina Strada’s prismatic gazes celebrated creative freedom and imperfection while still feeling purposeful and fun. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This Tie-Dye Eye Makeup Will Take You From Fashion Week to Summer Music Festivals," 8 Feb. 2019 The holiday, which celebrates Christ's return from the grave following his crucifixion, can occur on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25. Maria Carter, Country Living, "When Is Easter and Why Does Easter Change Dates Each Year?," 7 Feb. 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

12 Mar 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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