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 our English words "felicity" and "felicitate." The former is the older of the two; it dates back to the 14th century and refers to the state of being happy or to something that makes people happy. When writing King Lear, William Shakespeare was probably pleased when he thought of the word felicitate as an adjective meaning "made happy," but not everyone took a shine to it and it fell into disuse. However, people were happy to pick up "felicitate" as a verb meaning "to make happy." That meaning is now considered archaic but it was the seed for other meanings of the word. "Felicitate" eventually grew to mean "to consider happy or fortunate" and "to congratulate."

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 3 Dec. 2021.

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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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