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 On Sunday night, Modi took to Twitter to congratulate rival Banerjee’s win. Time, "Narendra Modi's Party Takes an Electoral Hit Amid India's Virus Surge," 3 May 2021 Each member of the hiring team is tasked to reach out to congratulate the successful candidate and offer support in making their decision. Robert Sher, Forbes, "How To Raise Your Employment Offer Acceptance Rates With Kindness," 27 Apr. 2021 Chavez wiped away tears at the pulpit stacked high with flowers to congratulate her on the victory. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, "‘I am free today’: After three years, Vicky Chavez can safely leave her sanctuary at a Salt Lake City church," 16 Apr. 2021 Even Tigers first baseman Jonathan Schoop took a moment to pat Dawson on the back and congratulate him. Matt Young, Chron, "Photos of overjoyed Ronnie Dawson making Astros debut warm the heart," 15 Apr. 2021 Haskins and his wife, Yvette, reached out to Thorson recently to congratulate him on returning to the Gophers. Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, "Stars align as Dave Thorson returns to Gophers with former pupil Ben Johnson," 12 Apr. 2021 Spieth and Marc Leishman hung around to congratulate Matsuyama., "Xander Schauffele was dialed in, but disaster struck at No. 16, and other takeaways from the 85th Masters," 12 Apr. 2021 Latin American presidents rang to congratulate him even before his victory speech in his home town of Guayaquil, as his win became more and more clear. The Economist, "Long odds Guillermo Lasso, a rich ex-banker, is Ecuador's new president," 12 Apr. 2021 Alex Rodriguez was loudly booed trying to congratulate pitcher Dustin May. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Opinion: It’s a Hollywood story for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they receive their World Series rings," 10 Apr. 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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Congratulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 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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Comments on congratulate

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