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

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


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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.
Recent Examples on the Web The president of the German parliament Baerbel Bas arrived in Kyiv on Sunday to commemorate victims of World War II and to hold political talks, a parliament official said on Twitter. Leila Sackur, NBC News, 7 May 2022 The month of May was chosen to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 May 2022 Eid al-Fitr is celebrated to commemorate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and takes place over three days. Maria Jimenez Moya, USA TODAY, 30 Apr. 2022 To commemorate the second season and to celebrate their on- and off-screen friendship, Kaley and fellow Flight Attendant actress Zosia Mamet got matching ink. Rebecca Norris, Good Housekeeping, 29 Apr. 2022 Mother's Day is Sunday, May 8, a day set aside to celebrate and commemorate moms and motherhood of all generations. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 27 Apr. 2022 Zelenskyy noted that International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi met with him in Kyiv to commemorate the Chernobyl disaster and pledge his support. Tyler O'neil, Fox News, 27 Apr. 2022 Christian faithful all over the world celebrate Easter Sunday Like Christmas, Easter is rooted in Christianity, a holiday meant to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after he was crucified by Romans in 30 A.D. Editors, USA TODAY, 16 Apr. 2022 Some compared the Texans' daring to live dangerously to other brands' failures while trying to commemorate a holiday, particularly Florida State photshopping Martin Luther King Jr., doing the Seminoles' Tomahawk Chop on MLK Day. Matt Young, Chron, 15 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of commemorate was in 1599

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Commemorate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for commemorate


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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