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


It's a place where the homeless congregate. Skiers congregated around the lodge's fireplace.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The characters of Pose, the house mothers and queens and LGBTQ voguers who congregated in Season 1 to compete against each other’s exuberant charades, are asserting their presence in a world that’s usually ill-inclined to receive it. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Pose Lets In the Light," 12 June 2019 Police contacted a group of kids who had congregated on the roof of a park restroom facility., "Cops called over neighbor’s immodest towel wrap: Forest Grove Police Log," 10 June 2019 Below Ban Luiy, one of the many villages dotting the hillsides of this meandering river valley, scores of blue mahseer, a type of carp, congregate in crystal clear waters while a group of children splash nearby. Stefan Lovgren, National Geographic, "River sanctuaries help giant fish recover in Southeast Asia," 25 Apr. 2019 In the summer of 1969, about 400,00 people congregated to a dairy farm Upstate in Bethel, New York, for three days of peace and music. Kendall Lindsay, Vogue, "Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary Festival May Be Canceled, But a Documentary Has Just Premiered," 2 May 2019 The group, consisting of donors and academics, congregated in the 53rd Street lobby on a balmy summer morning before the museum opened. Derek Blasberg, WSJ, "How the Record-Breaking Sale of a Lichtenstein Painting Changed Agnes Gund’s Life," 31 Oct. 2018 By contrast, Republican voters were more heavily congregated on the right side of the spectrum; 67% identified themselves as conservatives, and just 27% as moderate. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Democrats Built a Big Tent; Can They Keep It?," 12 Nov. 2018 Too numerous to count, they were congregated in and around a narrow, latte-brown channel in the Salamat. Rachel Nuwer, New York Times, "In Chad, the Elephants (So Many Elephants) Are Back," 14 May 2018 There’s also the always popular bald eagles, which often congregate near Sauk City on the Wisconsin River or over on the Mississippi River below dams. Brian E. Clark, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Winter birding in Wisconsin delivers sightings of snowy owls, eagles and more," 16 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for congregate

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for congregate

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

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More Definitions for congregate



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

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


to take the place or position of

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