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


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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 As teammate Damion Lee came over to congratulate him, Russell nodded emphatically, puffed out his chest and jawed. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors squander another big night from D’Angelo Russell in loss to Thunder," 9 Nov. 2019 After the game, Brady sought out Jackson at midfield to congratulate him on the win., "“We got to coach better, we got to play better, [and] we got to do better all the way around,” Belichick said on a conference call following New England’s first loss of the season.," 5 Nov. 2019 Langston Galloway was one of the first to congratulate him. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey says it's just another game. His players know better," 30 Oct. 2019 As Allen tried to leave Cardinal Stadium with his family after the performance, people swarmed to congratulate him, Mary Beth said. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Boy with Down syndrome steals hearts as band conductor at a Louisville football game," 21 Oct. 2019 Sieng hugged and congratulated her teammates, who were seated next to her in wheelchairs, all wearing basketball shirts in blue and red—the colors of the Cambodian flag. Lauren Decicca, National Geographic, "How wheelchair basketball changed these women's lives," 21 Oct. 2019 Fully Got Its Emmys Due After years of congratulating people-pleasers and prestige TV, the Television Academy seems to have finally gotten wise to the folks at the outcasts table. Wired, "Amazon's Fleabag and Many Others Won the Emmys They Deserved," 23 Sep. 2019 Seconds later, when her 49 fellow state representatives pressed in to congratulate her, the tears began to flow freely from all on stage. Michael Dumas,, "Dora Guo of Illinois reigns as DYW 2019," 29 June 2019 Merger arbitrage hedge funds can congratulate themselves on a big win from Takeda’s $62 billion takeover of Shire Plc. Washington Post, "Japan Health-Care Stocks Shake Off a Sickly Phase," 18 Sep. 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

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for congratulate

The first known use of congratulate was in 1539

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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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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).


to speed up the process or progress of

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