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

transitive verb

: 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
archaic : to express sympathetic pleasure at (an event)
obsolete : salute, greet
congratulator noun

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 Right before the credits, in-real-life footage rolls of Red following the delivery of her baby with a message congratulating the mother. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 14 Feb. 2024 Following the 2024 Super Bowl, the pop star, 29, posted to Instagram on Monday to congratulate the R&B superstar, 45, on his career-spanning halftime show. Sadie Bell, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 On Sunday, Plum, who’s now with the WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces, sent out a social media post prematurely congratulating Clark, who scored 31 in a loss at Nebraska. Jeff Metcalfe, The Mercury News, 13 Feb. 2024 Perhaps even worse, Ryan and his friend were surrounded by 49ers fans who started congratulating themselves before the game had even ended. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 10 Feb. 2024 When congratulated by Griffin’s staff, city emails show Cedro offered to write more articles beneficial to the hedge funder. Sarah Blaskey, Miami Herald, 5 Feb. 2024 See Swift congratulate Boygenius in the Grammys press room below. Hannah Dailey, Billboard, 5 Feb. 2024 Immediately following the Chiefs win against the Baltimore Ravens, Swift headed straight to the field to congratulate Kelce. Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 29 Jan. 2024 At the end of Sunday’s game, Taylor Swift rushed to the field to congratulate her NFL beau, 34, with a sweet kiss. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 30 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'congratulate.' 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 congratulatus, past participle of congratulari to wish joy, from com- + gratulari to wish joy, from gratus pleasing — more at grace

First Known Use

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of congratulate was in 1539

Dictionary Entries Near congratulate

Cite this Entry

“Congratulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


con·​grat·​u·​late kən-ˈgrach-ə-ˌlāt How to pronounce congratulate (audio)
congratulated; congratulating
: to express pleasure to on account of success or good fortune
congratulate the winner

from Latin congratulatus "has wished joy," derived from Latin con-, com- "with, together" and gratulari "to wish joy," from gratus "pleasing, agreeable, thankful" — related to grace, gratitude

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