celebrate

verb
cel·​e·​brate | \ ˈse-lə-ˌbrāt How to pronounce celebrate (audio) \
celebrated; celebrating

Essential Meaning of celebrate

1 : to do something special or enjoyable for an important event, occasion, holiday, etc. We are celebrating my birthday by going out to dinner. The family gathered to celebrate Christmas. See More ExamplesWe are celebrating our anniversary next week. They are celebrating the birth of their third child. We won! Let's celebrate!Hide
2 formal : to praise (someone or something) : to say that (someone or something) is great or important The book celebrates the movies of the past. Her lecture celebrated the genius of the artist. See More ExamplesWe should celebrate diversity. He is celebrated for his contributions to modern science.Hide
3 formal : to perform (a religious ceremony) A priest celebrates Mass at the church daily.

Full Definition of celebrate

transitive verb

1 : to perform (a sacrament or solemn ceremony) publicly and with appropriate rites A priest celebrates Mass.
2a : to honor (an occasion, such as a holiday) especially by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business The nation celebrates Memorial Day.
b : to mark (something, such as an anniversary) by festivities or other deviation from routine celebrated their 25th anniversary
3 : to hold up or play up for public notice her poetry celebrates the glory of nature

intransitive verb

1 : to observe a holiday, perform a religious ceremony, or take part in a festival The holiday revelers celebrated all day long.
2 : to observe a notable occasion with festivities decided the only way to celebrate was to have a party

Other Words from celebrate

celebration \ ˌse-​lə-​ˈbrā-​shən How to pronounce celebrate (audio) \ noun
celebrative \ ˈse-​lə-​ˌbrā-​tiv How to pronounce celebrate (audio) \ adjective
celebrator \ ˈse-​lə-​ˌbrā-​tər How to pronounce celebrate (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for celebrate

keep, observe, celebrate, commemorate mean to notice or honor a day, occasion, or deed. keep stresses the idea of not neglecting or violating. kept the Sabbath by refraining from work observe suggests marking the occasion by ceremonious performance. not all holidays are observed nationally celebrate suggests acknowledging an occasion by festivity. traditionally celebrates Thanksgiving with a huge dinner commemorate suggests that an occasion is marked by observances that remind one of the origin and significance of the event. commemorate Memorial Day with the laying of wreaths

Examples of celebrate in a Sentence

We are celebrating my birthday by going out to dinner. The family gathered to celebrate Christmas. We are celebrating our anniversary next week. They are celebrating the birth of their third child. The book celebrates the movies of the past. Her lecture celebrated the genius of the artist. He is celebrated for his contributions to modern science. A priest celebrates Mass at the church daily.
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Recent Examples on the Web As usual, Dante mixes mockery with celebration, and the film evolves from a horror movie into a freewheeling send-up of both the holidays and the Hollywood movies that celebrate them. Keith Phipps, Vulture, 20 Nov. 2021 If a six-game winning streak stretches to seven, the Toreros will celebrate another PFL title. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2021 The 2021 Cincinnati's Best of the Best awards, sponsored by the Enquirer, celebrate the best businesses and services in the community, as nominated by and voted on by readers. The Enquirer, 19 Nov. 2021 To celebrate something special, for example, or to educate ourselves in new ways. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Nov. 2021 The band will celebrate its centenary Saturday with its 100th Anniversary Tartan Ball. Carol Flynn, chicagotribune.com, 18 Nov. 2021 Cultures throughout Southeast Asia also celebrate this moon with festivals, according to NASA. Sherry Liang, CNN, 18 Nov. 2021 Be sure to spotlight individual and collective achievements and celebrate them openly. Steph Lund, Forbes, 10 Nov. 2021 In addition to dedicating the award to her late loved ones, Megan took the opportunity to celebrate herself. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, 9 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'celebrate.' 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 celebrate

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for celebrate

Middle English celebraten, borrowed from Latin celebrātus, past participle of celebrāre "to throng, frequent, observe (an occasion, festivity), praise" (probably originally back-formation from earlier concelebrāre "to frequent, honor"), derivative of celebr-, celeber "much used, frequented, widely known, famed," probably going back to *kelesri-, of uncertain origin

Learn More About celebrate

Time Traveler for celebrate

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near celebrate

celebrant

celebrate

celebrated

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Statistics for celebrate

Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Celebrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/celebrate. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for celebrate

celebrate

verb
cel·​e·​brate | \ ˈse-lə-ˌbrāt How to pronounce celebrate (audio) \
celebrated; celebrating

Kids Definition of celebrate

1 : to observe (a holiday or important occasion) in some special way
2 : to perform (a religious ceremony)
3 : praise entry 1 sense 1 We should celebrate the freedoms we have.

More from Merriam-Webster on celebrate

Nglish: Translation of celebrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of celebrate for Arabic Speakers

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