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verb (used with object), grat·u·lat·ed, grat·u·lat·ing.
  1. to hail with joy; express joy at.
  2. to congratulate.
verb (used without object), grat·u·lat·ed, grat·u·lat·ing.
  1. to express joy.

Origin of gratulate

1550–60; < Latin grātulātus (past participle of grātulārī to express joy), equivalent to grātul- express joy, congratulate, thank (derivative of grātus pleasing) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsgrat·u·la·to·ri·ly [grach-uh-luh-tawr-uh-lee, -tohr-] /ˈgrætʃ ə ləˌtɔr ə li, -ˌtoʊr-/, adverbgrat·u·la·to·ry, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gratulate

Historical Examples

  • These Letters do gratulate and remembre the ioy of the disciple for hauinge sutch a maister.

    The Palace of Pleasure

    William Painter

  • There was ironic fatality in the accident which checked this tide of gratulate reflection.

    Joan Thursday

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • And now let me gratulate you upon the renovated vigor of your fine old friends the Russians.

  • Much joy I hope you'l find, we came to gratulate your new knit marriage-band.

    Wit Without Money

    Francis Beaumont

British Dictionary definitions for gratulate


verb (tr) archaic
  1. to greet joyously
  2. to congratulate
Derived Formsgratulant, adjectivegratulation, noungratulatory, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Latin grātulārī, from grātus pleasing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for gratulate


archaic, 1550s, from Latin gratulatus, past participle of gratulari (see gratulation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper