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

The society had scheduled a series of events this week to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the American Beach Community Center and Museum. NBC News, "A.L. Lewis: Florida's first black millionaire remembered," 9 Sep. 2019 The delicate figurines come in a different design for every occasion, and are typically gifted to commemorate a birthday, holiday, or other significant life event. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "This Artist Turns Precious Moments Figurines Into Terrifying Sculptures," 3 Sep. 2019 Trump had planned to arrive in Poland on Sunday for a two-day visit, ostensibly to commemorate the 80th anniversary of World War II. Jennifer Jacobs / Bloomberg, Time, "Trump Cancels Poland Trip to Focus on Hurricane Dorian, Says He's Sending Pence in His Place," 29 Aug. 2019 Günther paid his respects at a Swakopmund graveyard monument erected to commemorate the victims of the colonial concentration camp there. Quartz Africa, "Even after acknowledging the Namibia genocide of WWI, Germany still hasn’t learned the key lesson," 10 Aug. 2019 On June 19th, as protesters prepared to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of Honduras’s last military coup, history nearly repeated itself. The Economist, "The humbling of Honduras’s president, Juan Orlando Hernández," 2 Aug. 2019 Prince George turns six on July 22, and the royal family is commemorating the occasion with a series of birthday portraits. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince George's Sixth Birthday Portraits Celebrate His Cheeky Personality," 21 July 2019 The event is commemorating the 400th anniversary of representative government in America with the founding of the House of Burgesses, which was the first representative legislative assembly in America. Washington Post, "Virginia lawmakers spar on reported Trump visit to Jamestown," 20 July 2019 The breakfast chain is commemorating its anniversary by selling a stack of its signature buttermilk pancakes for 58 cents, a nod to its founding in 1958. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "Happy 61st birthday, IHOP. Here's how the chain still rakes in billions," 16 July 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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Statistics for commemorate

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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