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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Kazunori proposed to Ayako on June 19 at a wedding chapel, along with Takada from LMO, with friends from their online matchmaking events joining by Zoom to congratulate them. Washington Post, "Lockdowns make the heart grow fonder in Japan as online matchmaking surges," 12 July 2020 Ruby Rose, who played Batwoman in season one of Batwoman, also took to social media to congratulate Leslie on the role. Shamika Sanders, Essence, "Batwoman Is A Black Woman, Javicia Leslie Cast As The CW Lead," 9 July 2020 Olympia's birth was first announced earlier this year when Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness took to social media to congratulate the couple. Chevaz Clarke, CBS News, "Usain Bolt reveals first photos of his baby girl and her Olympic-inspired name," 8 July 2020 Tanzania President John Magufuli even called in to congratulate Laizer on live television. Fox News, "Tanzanian miner finds record tanzanite gems, becomes overnight millionaire," 25 June 2020 President John Magufuli called to congratulate Laizer live on television. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Small-scale miner finds largest tanzanite gems in Tanzania's history, becomes millionaire," 25 June 2020 In May, his uncle arrived in Memphis to congratulate Ajamu for graduating from high school. USA Today, "These Black teens are turning 18 in Tamir Rice’s America," 22 June 2020 Those recent efforts gained the attention of many including President Donald Trump, who visited the Rawsonville plant to congratulate workers and pay homage to the Motor City and its manufacturing might. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "Bill Ford: 'This is my home. We stayed here when others were leaving.'," 13 June 2020 Former President Obama also took to Twitter to congratulate DACA recipients. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "Supreme Court Halts White House Effort to End DACA Program," 18 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for congratulate

Time Traveler

The first known use of congratulate was in 1539

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Statistics for congratulate

Last Updated

17 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Congratulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for congratulate


How to pronounce congratulate (audio)

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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