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 Kansas City Royals fan Austin Murphy was looking for the perfect photo to commemorate his trip to Angel Stadium. Jaylon Thompson, Kansas City Star, 12 May 2024 The head of the Mayor’s Advisory Council on LGBTQ+ Affairs, Jin-Soo Huh said LGBTQ+ community members were left out of early discussions making changes to the summer event, which has been held in Chicago for over 50 years to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City. Olivia Stevens, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 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 19 May. 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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