commemorate

verb
com·​mem·​o·​rate | \ kə-ˈme-mə-ˌrāt How to pronounce commemorate (audio) \
commemorated; commemorating

Definition of commemorate

transitive verb

1 : to call to remembrance St. Andrew is commemorated on November 30.
2 : to mark by some ceremony or observation : observe commemorate an anniversary
3 : to serve as a memorial of a plaque that commemorates the battle

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Other Words from commemorate

commemorator \ kə-​ˈme-​mə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce commemorator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for commemorate

Synonyms

memorialize, monumentalize

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Choose the Right Synonym for commemorate

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

Did You Know?

When you remember something, you are mindful of it. It's appropriate, therefore, that "commemorate" and other related memory-associated words (including "memorable," "memorial," "remember," and "memory" itself) come from the Latin root memor, meaning "mindful." Some distant older relatives are Old English "gemimor" ("well-known"), Greek mermēra ("care"), and Sanskrit "smarati" ("he remembers"). English speakers have been marking the memory of important events with "commemorate" since the late 16th century.

Examples of commemorate in a Sentence

The festival commemorates the town's founding. The plaque commemorates the battle that took place here 200 years ago. Each year on this date we commemorate our ancestors with a special ceremony.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Miranda Kerr shared a close up of her V-Day themed nail art and Riverdale IRL couple Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart commemorated the day with adorable messages to one another. Vogue, "The Sweetest Celebrity Valentine’s Day Posts, From Nicole Kidman to Hailey Bieber," 14 Feb. 2019 Since then, Christians commemorate Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday separately. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "When Is Good Friday? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 13 Feb. 2019 The royal family is commemorating Remembrance Sunday and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with a series of poignant events this weekend. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Wore a Somber Black Coat and Poppy Pin to Remembrance Sunday Service," 11 Nov. 2018 CNCO Compete in a Compliment Battle John commemorated his big win in an Instagram post on Sunday night. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "John Legend Officially Joins the EGOT Club," 10 Sep. 2018 Priyanka commemorated the double date with an Instagram featuring her future husband, Nick Jonas, and future in-laws. Dan Barna, Glamour, "Nick Jonas, Priyanka Chopra, Joe Jonas, and Sophie Turner Went on a Double Date to the U.S. Open," 5 Sep. 2018 Stuart’s legacy, along with other iconic Civil War figures, is commemorated in imagery throughout the South that factor prominently into the romanticism tied to the Confederacy. Debbie Truong, Washington Post, "The Confederate commander behind one of the greatest ‘what ifs’ of the Civil War," 7 July 2018 Since July celebrates America’s birthday, why not commemorate in the city where our forefathers made history. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "5 last-minute Atlanta travel deals for July," 19 June 2018 Sophie Turner is a known fan of commemorating the latter with the former and she's done it again, this time with a flame tattoo in honor of her upcoming performance in Dark Phoenix, which hit theaters this summer. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Sophie Turner Debuts a New 'Dark Phoenix' Tribute Tattoo," 26 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'commemorate.' 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 commemorate

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for commemorate

Latin commemoratus, past participle of commemorare, from com- + memorare to remind of, from memor mindful — more at memory

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Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for commemorate

The first known use of commemorate was in 1599

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More Definitions for commemorate

commemorate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of commemorate

: to exist or be done in order to remind people of (an important event or person from the past)
: to do something special in order to remember and honor (an important event or person from the past)

commemorate

verb
com·​mem·​o·​rate | \ kə-ˈme-mə-ˌrāt How to pronounce commemorate (audio) \
commemorated; commemorating

Kids Definition of commemorate

1 : to observe with a ceremony commemorate an anniversary
2 : to serve as a memorial of The statue commemorates the battle.

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