fe·​lic·​i·​tate | \ fi-ˈli-sə-ˌtāt How to pronounce felicitate (audio) \

Definition of felicitate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made happy


felicitated; felicitating

Definition of felicitate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 archaic : to make happy
2a : to consider happy or fortunate
b : to offer congratulations to

Other Words from felicitate


felicitation \ fi-​ˌli-​sə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce felicitate (audio) \ noun
felicitator \ fi-​ˈli-​sə-​ˌtā-​tər How to pronounce felicitate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for felicitate

Synonyms: Verb

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Felix, a Latin adjective meaning "happy" or "fruitful," is the root of the English words felicity and felicitate. The former, which is by far the more common of the pair, refers to the state of being happy or to something that makes people happy; like felix itself, it's also used as a name. Felicitate has always played second fiddle to its cousin, but enjoyed more use in centuries past than it does today. At one time it functioned as an adjective meaning "made happy" (William Shakespeare used it this way in King Lear), but the adjective fell out of favor and is no longer in use. Felicitate today is most commonly used as a verb especially in the English of South Asia where its "to offer congratulations" meaning is often extended beyond simple congratulations to the honoring of someone with an award or prize.

Examples of felicitate in a Sentence

Verb the other pianists rushed to felicitate the winner of the piano competition

First Known Use of felicitate


1605, in the meaning defined above


1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for felicitate


Late Latin felicitatus, past participle of felicitare to make happy, from Latin felicitas

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The first known use of felicitate was in 1605

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Dictionary Entries Near felicitate

felicific calculus



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Cite this Entry

“Felicitate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/felicitate. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on felicitate

Nglish: Translation of felicitate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of felicitate for Arabic Speakers


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