con·​grat·​u·​late | \ kən-ˈgra-chə-ˌlāt How to pronounce congratulate (audio) , -ˈgra-jə- \
congratulated; congratulating

Definition of congratulate

transitive verb

1 : 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
2 archaic : to express sympathetic pleasure at (an event)
3 obsolete : salute, greet

Other Words from congratulate

congratulator \ kən-​ˈgra-​chə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce congratulate (audio) , -​ˈgra-​jə-​ \ noun

Synonyms for congratulate


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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.
Recent Examples on the Web The customers congratulate themselves on their luck at being with girls so young, commenting ruefully that it would never be allowed in Tokyo. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 7 July 2022 Russian President Vladimir Putin did not congratulate U.S. President Joe Biden on the United States’ Independence Day, breaking with a long-standing tradition. Katya Soldak, Forbes, 4 July 2022 As for Netflix, meanwhile, the streamer will almost certainly congratulate itself for the Stranger Things viewership figures next week. Andy Meek, BGR, 14 July 2022 After leaving, continue to congratulate executives and colleagues on birthdays and achievements. Naira Velumyan, Forbes, 12 July 2022 Musk replied to Cannon's tweet Friday morning to congratulate the rapper on his growing family. Georgia Slater,, 8 July 2022 Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro was quick to congratulate Petro and his running mate. Fox News, 20 June 2022 Eventually, Tatum began wading through the families and photographers and sought out Warriors players to congratulate. Globe Staff,, 17 June 2022 Members of the Scottish parliament at Holyrood moved to congratulate the nonagenarian monarch on Wednesday, when all MSPs present from the Green Party left the chamber, according to the Scottish Daily Express. Claire Parker, Washington Post, 2 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of congratulate

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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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Time Traveler for congratulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of congratulate was in 1539

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Congratulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for congratulate


con·​grat·​u·​late | \ kən-ˈgra-chə-ˌlāt How to pronounce congratulate (audio) \
congratulated; congratulating

Kids Definition of congratulate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on congratulate

Nglish: Translation of congratulate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of congratulate for Arabic Speakers


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