verb com·mem·o·rate \ kə-ˈme-mə-ˌrāt \
|Updated on: 15 Aug 2018

Definition of commemorate

commemorated; commemorating
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


play \kə-ˈme-mə-ˌrā-tər\ noun

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Examples of commemorate in a Sentence

  1. The festival commemorates the town's founding.

  2. The plaque commemorates the battle that took place here 200 years ago.

  3. Each year on this date we commemorate our ancestors with a special ceremony.

Recent Examples of commemorate from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of commemorate

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

commemorate Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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

COMMEMORATE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of commemorate for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids


verb com·mem·o·rate \ kə-ˈme-mə-ˌrāt \

Definition of commemorate for Students

commemorated; commemorating
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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fullness to the point of excess

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