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 On Monday, the Washington Post reported that in 1983, Soviet Embassy First Secretary Vadim Kuznetsov congratulated Sanders in a letter for his reelection as mayor of Burlington. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Bernie Sanders in 1972: 'I don't mind people calling me a communist'," 4 Feb. 2020 This one is for Andy’: Dez Bryant, NFL world congratulate Chiefs’ coach Reid on first Super Bowl win Photo of the day 2019 results --- That’s all for today! Sportsday Staff, Dallas News, "Patrick Mahomes keeps Cowboys from dropping historical notch, how Dallas can reach Super Bowl LV and more — Your Cowboys Catch-Up," 2 Feb. 2020 When the demonstration was finished, the Admiral stood to his feet, congratulated Roberts and asked what the maneuver was to be called. Simon Parkin, Time, "A Nazi U-Boat Tactic Stumped Allied Forces — Until a Retired British Naval Officer Designed a Game to Reveal How It Worked," 29 Jan. 2020 The memo recaps the short April call in which Trump congratulates Zelenskiy on his election., "It is the latest salvo in the White House struggle to blunt Democrats’ contention that Trump abused the power of the presidency.," 15 Nov. 2019 Shortly after the call in April, the White House released a statement noting that Trump congratulated Zelenskiy on his election victory. Aamer Madhani And Jonathan Lemire,, "Rough transcript of first Trump phone call with Ukraine president is released. Read it here.," 15 Nov. 2019 Raise a glass and cheers to vintners and congratulate the winners in person., "San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting," 16 Jan. 2020 Fellow singers like Jorja Smith, Cynthia Erivo and Lianna La Havas congratulated her soon-to-be-mommy on the amazing news. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Singer NAO Is Pregnant! Here's Four Reasons She'll Be The Coolest Mom Ever," 15 Jan. 2020 Thousands of readers shared the Niche ranking, congratulating schools on the list, with good reason. al, "‘Standout Schools’ list in Alabama compiled by Niche not accurate," 15 Jan. 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

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Congratulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 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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