con·​grat·​u·​late | \kən-ˈgra-chə-ˌlāt, -ˈgra-jə-\
congratulated; congratulating

Definition of congratulate 

transitive verb

1 archaic : to express sympathetic pleasure at (an event)

2 : to express vicarious pleasure to (a person) on the occasion of success or good fortune graciously congratulated the winner also : to feel pleased with congratulating herself for a job well done

3 obsolete : salute, greet

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Other Words from congratulate

congratulator \kən-​ˈgra-​chə-​ˌlā-​tər, -​ˈgra-​jə-​ \ noun
congratulatory \kən-​ˈgra-​chə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē, -​ˈgra-​jə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for congratulate


compliment, felicitate, hug

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Examples of congratulate in a Sentence

I'd like to congratulate you on your success. She congratulated us on our test results. She congratulated herself for getting the best grade in her class.
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Recent Examples on the Web

On November 8, Emma shared a photo and video from their time together on Instagram, congratulating Tom on the release of his latest project, a YouTube Red series called Origins, in the caption. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Tom Felton Says He and "Harry Potter" Costar Emma Watson Reunite "All the Time"," 25 Nov. 2018 Her opponent McSally, a former fighter pilot, shared a video on Twitter congratulating Sinema on her win and wishing her success. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Kyrsten Sinema Becomes First Female and Openly Bisexual Senator from Arizona," 13 Nov. 2018 Royal correspondents are reporting that members of the family congratulated the Duke and Duchess at Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's wedding on Friday, October 12. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Expecting Their First Child," 15 Oct. 2018 During a phone call with Mr. Putin in March, when the president was urged by aides not to congratulate the Russian president on his electoral victory, Mr. Trump did just that. New York Times, "Trump Poised to Enter NATO Meeting as Wild Card Among Allies," 9 July 2018 Jordan's Riverdale costars were quick to congratulate the new fiancé. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, ""Riverdale" Star Jordan Connor Just Got Engaged and the Photos are Adorable," 27 Sep. 2018 Musée du Louvre tweeted a picture of her wearing a France jersey under her robe, with a caption congratulating the players (hopefully DaVinci doesn't mind). Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "How France is Celebrating Its World Cup Victory," 16 July 2018 My dad was there, and Bob Myers called and wanted to congratulate me and the family on the new addition. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "Steph Curry talks DeMarcus Cousins signing, LeBron James' move: 'You've still got to beat us'," 11 July 2018 The applicants took the Oath of Allegiance, and were congratulated on becoming new citizens by Vernon Mayor Dan Champagne. Steve Smith, Courant Community, "New Citizens Sworn In At Rockville Library," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'congratulate.' 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 congratulate

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for congratulate

Latin congratulatus, past participle of congratulari to wish joy, from com- + gratulari to wish joy, from gratus pleasing — more at grace

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for congratulate

The first known use of congratulate was in 1539

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More Definitions for congratulate



English Language Learners Definition of congratulate

: to tell (someone) that you are happy because of his or her success or good luck

: to feel pleased with (yourself)


con·​grat·​u·​late | \kən-ˈgra-chə-ˌlāt \
congratulated; congratulating

Kids Definition of congratulate

: to express pleasure on account of success or good fortune I congratulated the winner.

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Comments on congratulate

What made you want to look up congratulate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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