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

transitive verb

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

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.

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

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 Sports Parnelli Jones returns to Indianapolis 500 to commemorate 1963 win May 24, 2013 In 1962, Jones electrified the Indy crowds, becoming the first driver to break 150 mph and winning the pole with a qualifying speed of 150.137. Mike Kupper, Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2024 King Charles and Queen Camilla are slated to commemorate D-Day on June 6 at the British Normandy Memorial at Ver-sur-Mer with the Ministry of Defence and the Royal British Legion, of which the King is patron, while Prince William embraces the role of international statesman. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 5 June 2024 At the beginning of June, the Army kicks off 10 days in Normandy to commemorate perhaps the most iconic military maneuver in modern history: the day America and her Allies stormed the beaches of France with the aim of freeing Europe from Nazi tyranny. William A. Ryan, Chicago Tribune, 2 June 2024 Outlet Shopping Day Great Mall Milpitas is among more than 90 outlets in the the United States and Canada commemorating National Outlet Shopping Day on June 8-9, when more than 100 retailers will offer shoppers savings. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, 2 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for commemorate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'commemorate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of commemorate was in 1599


Dictionary Entries Near commemorate

Cite this Entry

“Commemorate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


com·​mem·​o·​rate kə-ˈmem-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce commemorate (audio)
commemorated; commemorating
: to call to remembrance
: to mark by a ceremony
: to be a memorial of
a plaque that commemorates the event
commemorator noun

More from Merriam-Webster on commemorate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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