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

Other Words from commemorate

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

Synonyms for commemorate


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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." 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.
Recent Examples on the Web In addition to her moving message, the business mogul also shared throwback photos of Kylie as a child to commemorate the special occasion, ending the collage with a recent photo of the two in an office setting. Amethyst Tate, Peoplemag, 10 Aug. 2022 It's become somewhat of a tradition for the Sussex family to commemorate personal celebrations with a charitable act, like building a new community relief center in Mumbai, India, to mark their third wedding anniversary. Editors, USA TODAY, 4 Aug. 2022 Also present at the recent meetings was the Parma Council of PTAs, which plans on being active at Renwood and Parma Park this year planning different events that can commemorate the past, but also welcome students into the future. John Benson, cleveland, 3 Aug. 2022 The Braves commemorate the tribe with a permanent exhibit at Truist Park. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 18 July 2022 Alabama wore a centennial patch on the left shoulder to commemorate the 100th season of Crimson Tide football, with other minor modifications including shorter sleeves. Ben Flanagan |, al, 13 July 2022 Set to debut to the public on July 1, the exhibit will commemorate the 60th anniversary of Spider-Man’s comic debut and undeniable presence in the world of entertainment. San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 June 2022 The Malden Arts ARTLine, a public art gallery along the city’s section of the 10-mile Northern Strand Community Trail, will commemorate the completion of its second phase with an unveiling ceremony at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 20. Cindy Cantrell,, 16 June 2022 The Institute for the Preservation of African American Music and Arts will commemorate Juneteenth by hosting an inaugural community recognition breakfast at 9 a.m. Saturday at 3200 W. Hampton Avenue. Hannah Kirby, Journal Sentinel, 14 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for commemorate

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The first known use of commemorate was in 1599

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Commemorate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for commemorate


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on commemorate

Nglish: Translation of commemorate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commemorate for Arabic Speakers


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