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 Shopping malls must set maximum occupancy and configure common areas, such as food courts, in a way that will allow six feet of distance to be maintained between customers, as well as post signs to discourage groups from congregating. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Certain Oregon retail stores will be allowed to reopen May 15 if they can adhere to distancing requirements," 7 May 2020 While residents have been encouraged to go outside, the city has taken steps to discourage groups from congregating in parks. John Delapp, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena aims to set up drive-through testing site," 14 Apr. 2020 Nueces County will temporarily close vehicle access to parks and beaches to the public for Easter weekend in an effort to keep people from congregating during the pandemic, officials announced Wednesday. Priscilla Aguirre,, "Corpus Christi-area beaches and parks to close for Easter weekend, officials say," 9 Apr. 2020 Will beaches be closed to keep crowds from congregating? Laura Johnston, cleveland, "What will Lake Erie tourist destinations look like this summer amid coronavirus crisis?," 4 Apr. 2020 To keep too many people from congregating in the same space, the dojo decided last week to meet outdoors. Dallas News, "Finding community in quarantine: How North Texans are connecting in creative ways in spite of coronavirus This article has comments enabled.," 27 Mar. 2020 To discourage groups from congregating, the parking lots at Badwater, Zabriskie Point, and Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes have also been closed. Lyndsey Matthews, Good Housekeeping, "Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Other National Parks Close Due to Coronavirus," 25 Mar. 2020 Daugherty had planned to have his employees wear masks and gloves and to take their temperatures, as well as close his concession stands to prevent people from congregating in food lines. Ethan Sears, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana racetrack served with cease-and-desist order after attempting to hold event," 11 May 2020 That’s quite a distance to mill, especially in a crowd, as Londoners who last gathered en masse to protest Brexit—and who are now forbidden from congregating in groups larger than their own immediate family—will dimly recall. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "A Queasy London Celebrates the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of V-E Day," 9 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But the vast majority of new cases were from congregate settings such as the city’s nursing homes, where Emerick had instituted universal testing for the virus weeks before Gov. Greg Abbott ordered it. Brian Chasnoff,, "Metro Health director came to San Antonio just ahead of the coronavirus," 16 May 2020 The city will continue to deliver food to hundreds enrolled in the Meals on Wheels program, those who frequented in-person congregate meals sites and to 255 seniors who were previously on a wait list for home delivery. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Coronavirus midday update: Indiana sees 14 news deaths, health officials stress distancing," 4 Apr. 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

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Congregate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 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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