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

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Other Words from congratulate

congratulator \ kən-​ˈgra-​chə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce congratulator (audio) , -​ˈgra-​jə-​ \ noun
congratulatory \ kən-​ˈgra-​chə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce congratulatory (audio) , -​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

Both city and state officials issued official proclamations in honor of Kelly’s continuous service to the nation, and local businesses congratulated the base in special advertisements. Paula Allen,, "Oscar-winning aviation epic shot in San Antonio had a’ re-premiere’ for Kelly AFB’s 50th anniversary," 29 June 2019 That week, Phoenix Mayor Milton Graham congratulated the police chief for the raid at 8th Day coffeehouse near First and Roosevelt streets. Kyra Haas, azcentral, "Phoenix's LGBTQ spaces faced raids 'policing morals' of city. The Stonewall riots helped change that," 28 June 2019 Flagg wrote, posting a video of himself being congratulated by members of the Hurricanes’ coaching staff during his recent visit to Coral Gables. Christy Cabrera Chirinos,, "Linebacker Corey Flagg commits to Miami, helps Hurricanes address position of need," 18 June 2019 To say farewell to Zetsche, known affectionately as Dr. Z, BMW released a video congratulating him on his retirement. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "BMW Pokes Fun at Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche's Retirement with Audacious Farewell Video," 22 May 2019 We‘re quick to congratulate ourselves for composting Another common finding? National Geographic, "Most people waste more food than they think—here's how to fix it," 24 Apr. 2019 Bishop Michael Curry congratulated Meghan and Harry on Twitter Monday. Eileen Reslen, Town & Country, "Bishop Michael Curry Congratulates Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Their Pregnancy News," 16 Oct. 2018 If the ages were the same but the genders reversed, your pals would be congratulating you. Amy Dickinson, The Mercury News, "Ask Amy: Older woman thinks she’s Mrs. Robinson," 20 June 2019 Friend and collaborator Cardi B congratulated Yung Miami on the news via her Instagram story. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Yung Miami Of City Girls Is Expecting Her Second Child!," 12 June 2019

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 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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Statistics for congratulate

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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.

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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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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