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

Other Words from congregate


congregator \ ˈkäŋ-​gri-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce congregate (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 Through it all, the community of French and expatriate writers who congregate at the bookstore drop by to gossip, commiserate, and offer Sylvia guidance on handling her recalcitrant Irish author. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Jan. 2022 Marvin can attest only to the chronological acumen of the elk that congregate each year at the Elkhorn Wildlife Area. Jayson Jacoby, oregonlive, 17 Dec. 2021 Similarly, if bullies congregate at a particular location, a victim can simply avoid the location. Peter Suciu, Forbes, 10 Dec. 2021 And the people who congregate at Mass and Cass must have places to go., 20 June 2021 Birds congregate at feeders, which could accelerate the spread of whatever is impacting them, officials said. Washington Post, 14 June 2021 And on that Sunday, as collard greens stew in pots with the likes of hammocks or turkey necks, Black folks — in their finest suits, dresses, and hats — congregate in a church sanctuary preparing to hear about the resurrection of Jesus. Meagan Jordan, Rolling Stone, 17 Apr. 2022 Thousands of walkers clad in pink will congregate at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs this weekend, gathering together to support the cause and mission behind the Susan G. Komen organization. Patrick Connolly,, 3 Mar. 2022 Beachgoers congregate near the wreck of the Peter Iredale in Fort Stevens State Park near Hammond, OR on Thurs. oregonlive, 13 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Mike Feuer, acknowledge that the scale of the need means the city can’t totally discount congregate settings. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 As of this week, outbreaks at those congregate settings have not significantly increased, said Sean O’Donnell, the county’s emergency preparedness manager. Washington Post, 15 Apr. 2022 Free student meals or flexibility of the program during the pandemic, because during the pandemic of the national school lunch program only serves the lunches in congregate settings, meaning in a school or a cafeteria. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 5 Apr. 2022 Workers already required to get vaccinated—including employees in congregate healthcare settings, schools and the governor’s office—are required to get booster shots by Jan. 17. Jennifer Calfas, WSJ, 7 Jan. 2022 The state will continue to offer COVID-19 testing in prisons and other high-risk congregate settings, officials said. Eliza Fawcett,, 20 Dec. 2021 Some Northeast Ohioans experiencing homelessness would rather brave single-digit temperatures on the street than enter a congregate shelter setting and risk exposure to the highly transmissible omicron variant of COVID-19. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 1 Feb. 2022 Nearly 90% of the people living in these types of congregate settings received a COVID-19 vaccine. Laurie Archbald-pannone, The Conversation, 28 Jan. 2022 Her team has been worried that the move to get people back inside congregate spaces was premature. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 13 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About congregate

Time Traveler for congregate

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near congregate




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for congregate

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Congregate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for congregate


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on congregate

Nglish: Translation of congregate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of congregate for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!