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

The new ink wasn't the only way that Kylie and Travis celebrated the rapper’s 28th birthday. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Gave Travis Scott a Tattoo at His Birthday Party," 5 May 2019 The Abbey bells are ringing out to celebrate the first birthday of HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Why Westminster Abbey's Bells Rang for Princess Charlotte's Birthday, But Not Prince Harry's," 2 May 2019 And members of the royal family were also excited to celebrate the princess's birthday. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Celebrate Princess Charlotte's Fourth Birthday on Instagram," 2 May 2019 In the 61st minute, Leicester fans applauded the memory of former chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who would have celebrated his 61st birthday in the coming days. Rob Harris, The Seattle Times, "Huddersfield experiences joint earliest relegation from EPL," 30 Mar. 2019 The baby is healthy, according to a report, and will soon celebrate her first birthday. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Cuba is finally on the grid," 6 Dec. 2018 That speaks to the game's brilliant guiding principle: not to outdo Tetris but to newly celebrate it. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Tetris Effect review: The puzzle game of my dreams—literally," 9 Nov. 2018 In addition to her obsession with numerology, Taylor is an artist who celebrates her history, often weaving references to her past work into her present. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift Put So Many "Old Taylor" References in the "ME!" Music Video," 26 Apr. 2019 Just this week, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, an annual compendium that celebrates the world’s most dynamic food and the chefs who craft it, named León Latin America’s Best Female Chef. Sara Lieberman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Award-Winning Peruvian Chef Pia León on Her New Restaurant, Kjolle," 2 Nov. 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

21 May 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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