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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Prince William and Kate Middleton took to Instagram Sunday afternoon to congratulate the entire Sussex family on their new addition. Kayleigh Roberts, Harper's BAZAAR, 7 June 2021 Within seconds of the birth announcement, well-wishers flocked to social media to congratulate the couple, who have had a tumultuous year. Washington Post, 6 June 2021 The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar took out a full page ad in the IndyStar to congratulate Helio Castroneves on his fourth Indy 500 victory, thank public health official for their efforts in Indiana's vaccination efforts and fans. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, 31 May 2021 After the dance ends, Coppola takes viewers behind the closed curtain, as the dancers embrace, catch their breath, and congratulate one another. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, 26 May 2021 This makes his failure to congratulate Tsai Ing-wen on her recent election victory all the more curious. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 25 May 2021 Hundreds of family, friends and other well-wishers traditionally line the street to congratulate the seniors, who wear white caps and gowns and carry a dozen red roses. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 25 May 2021 But before the final five took the stage, the NBC show paused the singing competition to congratulate the last original coach on his 10-year anniversary: Blake Shelton. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, 25 May 2021 Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White was also on hand to congratulate Alpogianis and present him with a mayoral license plate. Jennifer Johnson,, 14 May 2021

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

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Congratulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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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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