con·​grat·​u·​late | \ kən-ˈgra-chə-ˌlāt How to pronounce congratulate (audio) , -ˈgra-jə-\
congratulated; congratulating

Definition of congratulate

transitive verb

1 archaic : to express sympathetic pleasure at (an event)
2 : 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
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


compliment, felicitate, hug

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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

Kate then took the time to congratulate Colman's The Favourite co-star, Rachel Weisz. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Olivia Colman Met Kate Middleton and Prince William at the BAFTAs, Was Extremely Thrilled," 11 Feb. 2019 Billionaire Nelson Peltz, who runs Trian Fund Management, an activist investment firm feared by executives of struggling companies, called to congratulate Immelt on the pivot right after the announcement. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out," 14 Dec. 2018 Fans have taken to the socials to congratulate mama Cardi, and share their opinions about the baby's name. Sofia Mele, Billboard, "Fans React to Cardi B and Offset Welcoming Daughter Kulture Kiari: See the Tweets," 11 July 2018 In a prepared statement, Bagnall, 67, of Valparaiso, who is a deputy coroner and the former owner of Indiana Furniture Showcase, congratulated Wilkening for his clean campaign and said Wilkening has his full support in the general election. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Porter County Dems, GOP vote for coroners," 9 May 2018 Off stage, the two shared a candid moment as Harrison (who presented an accolade) congratulated Jeff on receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award last night. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Lady Gaga Meeting Rami Malek and More Amazing Golden Globes Moments You Missed," 7 Jan. 2019 Similar notes have recently been sent out to those who mailed birthday cards to Harry and Meghan, or notes congratulating the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their third child, Prince Louis. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How to Write a Letter Congratulating Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Their Baby News," 6 Nov. 2018 Her salary will be negotiated with University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley, who congratulated Whitten in a statement. Eric Stirgus, ajc, "Kennesaw State University has new president," 12 June 2018 Critics said the vote heralded the death of the internet, while supporters congratulated themselves for saving the livelihoods of starving artists and giving US tech giants a poke in the eye. James Vincent, The Verge, "Everything you need to know about Europe’s new copyright directive," 13 Sep. 2018

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 1

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

8 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for congratulate

The first known use of congratulate was in 1539

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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

What made you want to look up congratulate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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