commemorate

verb

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

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
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 Camila Mendes Marks the 'Riverdale' Series Finale with a Sweet New Tattoo: 'End of an Era’ In June, Mendes commemorated wrapping the series — which ran for seven seasons on The CW — with an emotional Instagram tribute which featured adorable snapshots of behind-the-scenes moments with her costars. Stephanie Wenger, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2024 This year, the NHL is commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative which has raised both funds and awareness, as well as supporting people affected by cancer. Carol Schram, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 And what better way to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the flagship DB line than by naming the latest iteration Robb Report’s 2024 Car of the Year? Robert Ross, Robb Report, 13 Feb. 2024 Johnson, a renowned author, educator, lawyer and civil rights activist, set out to write a poem to to commemorate President Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and the piece became a song. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 11 Feb. 2024 In March, the Miami-Dade School Board adopted a measure to commemorate the National Day of Prayer in the district’s public schools — a move that was followed by the Broward School Board two months later. Lauren Costantino, Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024 To commemorate its century in business the company has introduced a new wildflower honey, a blend from a number of regions that’s floral with something of a woodsy aftertaste. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 5 Feb. 2024 The festivities on Sunday will include a special banner hanging from the 24 palm trees in front of Oracle Park, the Ferry Building and Salesforce Tower dawned in orange and black lights, and the Oracle Park scoreboard commemorating 2.4.24. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 1 Feb. 2024 Since then, Galena Lodge has commemorated Rio and his sister, Fly (who prefers to spend her days in the office), with buffs and T-shirts bearing the dogs’ image at the window. Nicole Blanchard, Idaho Statesman, 3 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Etymology

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

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near commemorate

Cite this Entry

“Commemorate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commemorate. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

commemorate

verb
com·​mem·​o·​rate kə-ˈmem-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce commemorate (audio)
commemorated; commemorating
1
: to call to remembrance
2
: to mark by a ceremony
3
: to be a memorial of
a plaque that commemorates the battle
commemorator noun

More from Merriam-Webster on commemorate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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