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 Currently in the middle of its own strike, SAG-AFTRA congratulated the WGA on reaching an agreement. Max Zahn, ABC News, 24 Sep. 2023 Lachlan congratulated his father for a 70-year career in media upon the news of his retirement. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 22 Sep. 2023 In a statement Thursday, Lachlan congratulated his father’s decision to step away from his massive media empire. Makena Kelly, The Verge, 21 Sep. 2023 In a short video shared on Twitter, a voice that kinda sorta sounds like Swift, but might be some AI/deepfake-esque rendering (weird), congratulated fans for unlocking the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) vault and presented the grand prize: Four song titles. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 20 Sep. 2023 But that doesn’t mean the organization can’t take a moment to congratulate the winningest manager in franchise history for a job well done. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 16 Sep. 2023 Jones, who wears No. 79 like Bryant, messaged and congratulated him after picking up the big-time offer. Robert Fenbers, cleveland, 11 Sep. 2023 After watching the English team's victory from the VIP box alongside Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby, the princess went back to the locker room to congratulate the players. Quinci Legardye, Harper's BAZAAR, 10 Sep. 2023 Biden also congratulated Modi on India's recent moon landing. Aamer Madhani and Josh Boak The Associated Press, Arkansas Online, 9 Sep. 2023 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 4 Oct. 2023.

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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