commemorate

verb
com·​mem·​o·​rate | \ kə-ˈme-mə-ˌrāt How to pronounce commemorate (audio) \
commemorated; commemorating

Essential Meaning of commemorate

1 : to exist or be done in order to remind people of (an important event or person from the past) The festival commemorates the town's founding. The plaque commemorates the battle that took place here 200 years ago.
2 : to do something special in order to remember and honor (an important event or person from the past) Each year on this date we commemorate our ancestors with a special ceremony. All of the director's films will be shown to commemorate [=observe] the 50th anniversary of his death.

Full Definition of commemorate

transitive verb

1 : to call to remembrance St. Andrew is commemorated on November 30.
2 : to mark by some ceremony or observation : observe commemorate an anniversary
3 : to serve as a memorial of a plaque that commemorates the battle

Other Words from commemorate

commemorator \ kə-​ˈme-​mə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce commemorate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for commemorate

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for commemorate

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

Did you know?

When you remember something, you are mindful of it. It's appropriate, therefore, that "commemorate" and other related memory-associated words (including "memorable," "memorial," "remember," and "memory" itself) come from the Latin root memor, meaning "mindful." Some distant older relatives are Old English "gemimor" ("well-known"), Greek mermēra ("care"), and Sanskrit "smarati" ("he remembers"). English speakers have been marking the memory of important events with "commemorate" since the late 16th century.

Examples of commemorate in a Sentence

The festival commemorates the town's founding. The plaque commemorates the battle that took place here 200 years ago. Each year on this date we commemorate our ancestors with a special ceremony.
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Recent Examples on the Web Harris is expected to mend the relationship with America’s oldest ally by attending several days of speeches and ceremonies that commemorate the end of World War I. Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2021 Some are troubled by Congress requiring the Pickett name be dropped as part of a wider scrubbing of military base names that commemorate the Confederacy or honor officers who fought for it. BostonGlobe.com, 25 Oct. 2021 Paintings on the walls commemorate appearances by Kanye West in 2004, Drake in 2009, Iggy Azalea in 2013 and three bookings of Cardi B in 2016 and 2017. Thom Duffy, Billboard, 25 Oct. 2021 People commemorate the 76th founding anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea in the Kim Il Sung Square, Pyongyang, on Tuesday. NBC News, 13 Oct. 2021 To commemorate their anniversary, Sunday, Sept. 26, Macayo's set out to make history with a 25-foot-long chimichanga 3,750% longer than their regular menu item. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 3 Oct. 2021 The plaques commemorate people who achieved something worthwhile in their lives and who made London their home at some point. Pan Pylas, USA TODAY, 29 Sep. 2021 The celebration blends the historic pagan tradition with the Sankt Hans celebrations that commemorate John the Baptist. David Nikel, Forbes, 21 June 2021 The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act mandated the creation of an eight-person commission to develop a plan for renaming assets or removing symbols that commemorate soldiers who voluntarily served in the Confederacy or honored it. Eleanor Watson, CBS News, 22 May 2021

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

1599, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for commemorate

Latin commemoratus, past participle of commemorare, from com- + memorare to remind of, from memor mindful — more at memory

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Time Traveler for commemorate

Time Traveler

The first known use of commemorate was in 1599

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Dictionary Entries Near commemorate

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commemorate

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Statistics for commemorate

Last Updated

19 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Commemorate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commemorate. Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for commemorate

commemorate

verb
com·​mem·​o·​rate | \ kə-ˈme-mə-ˌrāt How to pronounce commemorate (audio) \
commemorated; commemorating

Kids Definition of commemorate

1 : to observe with a ceremony commemorate an anniversary
2 : to serve as a memorial of The statue commemorates the battle.

More from Merriam-Webster on commemorate

Nglish: Translation of commemorate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of commemorate for Arabic Speakers

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