con·​gre·​gate | \ ˈkäŋ-gri-ˌgāt How to pronounce congregate (audio) \
congregated; congregating

Definition of congregate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to collect into a group or crowd : assemble The king congregated his knights.

intransitive verb

: to come together into a group, crowd, or assembly Students congregated in the auditorium.


con·​gre·​gate | \ ˈkäŋ-gri-gət How to pronounce congregate (audio) \

Definition of congregate (Entry 2 of 2)

: providing or being group services or facilities designed especially for elderly persons requiring supportive services congregate housing

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Other Words from congregate


congregator \ ˈkäŋ-​gri-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce congregator (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for congregate


gather, collect, assemble, congregate mean to come or bring together into a group, mass, or unit. gather is the most general term for bringing or coming together from a spread-out or scattered state. a crowd quickly gathered collect often implies careful selection or orderly arrangement. collected books on gardening assemble implies an ordered union or organization of persons or things often for a definite purpose. experts assembled for a conference congregate implies a spontaneous flocking together into a crowd or huddle. congregating under a shelter

Examples of congregate in a Sentence

Verb It's a place where the homeless congregate. Skiers congregated around the lodge's fireplace.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Or those seeking to congregate for special occasions could take extreme measures, like the couple Lambert heard of who held their wedding at a zoo, with the staff enforcing distancing regulations. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "'Small events add up to a lot': Limited gatherings quietly emerge as source of coronavirus infections," 30 Aug. 2020 And by inviting students to congregate in new spaces, experts say, the programs risk subjecting caregivers to the same virus dangers that closed schools. Star Tribune, "Virtual learning sites sprout up to help working parents," 25 Aug. 2020 Locker rooms remain off limits for players, forcing them to congregate in a stadium concourse stripped of concessions. Nick Eilerson,, "Quakes’ season resumes in the comfort of home, without the comfort of fans," 25 Aug. 2020 Throughout the week, wealthy Trump donors and influential campaign backers are planning to congregate at the Trump International Hotel in Washington for convention watch parties and other meetings. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Republican convention to include more live content than Democrats aired," 21 Aug. 2020 Families and friends with different tastes can visit a food hall, eat everything from sushi and lobster rolls to pizza and waffles, and then congregate at a table that’s distanced from others. Kevin Gray, Dallas News, "Are food halls the post-pandemic future of dining?," 19 Aug. 2020 On the patio, guests can also congregate around the gas fire pit to stay cozy in colder months while listening to music thanks to the Control 4 Smart Home audio system. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "You Can Rent This HGTV Host's Actual House on Airbnb," 10 Sep. 2020 In the 1990s, the geographically disparate amateur crackpots could finally congregate in AOL chat rooms and compare notes on how Bill and Hillary took out Ron Brown and Vince Foster. David Harsanyi, National Review, "When Will Democrats Reckon with Their Own Crackpots and Conspiracy Theorists?," 24 Aug. 2020 The spike comes two days after schools reopened and two weeks before the high holidays in Israel, when Jews congregate in synagogues and homes to observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Tara John, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, September 3," 3 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective If your house is livable, stay in it even if the utilities are out because officials are trying to avoid congregate shelter settings as much as possible due to the coronavirus. Kevin Fagan,, "What to expect after a disaster," 9 Oct. 2020 Among other measures, the report recommended routine testing of K-12 teachers, first responders and staff members at nursing homes, prisons and other congregate settings. Rachel Herzog, Arkansas Online, "State sees new high in hospital virus cases," 8 Oct. 2020 Of those tests en route to Arizona, many will be distributed to vulnerable communities in congregate care settings as well as K-12 schools. Cole Lauterbach, Washington Examiner, "Arizona gets 2M rapid coronavirus tests from federal purchase," 1 Oct. 2020 The increase in cases is caused by schools reopening, Labor Day weekend gatherings and the continuing spread of the virus in congregate living settings, such as nursing homes and jails, said Stacey Anderson, state epidemiologist. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Fenway voting, teachers staying home, private school boom: News from around our 50 states," 24 Sep. 2020 Only half were residents of long-term care facilities — reflecting a growing share this summer of COVID-19 deaths in people who live in private residences rather than congregate settings. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "Minnesota Department of Health urges support, testing as pandemic nears 2,000 deaths," 22 Sep. 2020 Among those groups are close contacts of confirmed or presumptive cases, people exposed in congregate living settings and people of color. oregonlive, "Oregon’s coronavirus testing guidance is now weaker than the Trump administration’s," 19 Sep. 2020 Furthermore, housing stability helps protect public health because homelessness increases the likelihood of individuals moving into congregate settings, such as homeless shelters, which then puts individuals at higher risk to COVID-19. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "The CDC Is Not the Nation’s Housing Regulator," 8 Sep. 2020 Due to safety concerns associated with the coronavirus outbreak, officials are only opening congregate shelters only as a last resort. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Hurricane Laura makes landfall as a powerful Category 4 storm," 27 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'congregate.' 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 congregate


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1900, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for congregate

Verb and Adjective

Middle English, from Latin congregatus, past participle of congregare, from com- + greg-, grex flock

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Time Traveler for congregate

Time Traveler

The first known use of congregate was in the 15th century

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Statistics for congregate

Last Updated

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Congregate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for congregate


How to pronounce congregate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of congregate

: to come together in a group or crowd


con·​gre·​gate | \ ˈkäŋ-gri-ˌgāt How to pronounce congregate (audio) \
congregated; congregating

Kids Definition of congregate

: to collect or gather into a crowd or group : assemble Workers congregate around the coffee maker.

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Comments on congregate

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