[ kuhn-grach-uh-leyt or, often, -graj-, kuhng- ]
See synonyms for congratulate on
verb (used with object),con·grat·u·lat·ed, con·grat·u·lat·ing.
  1. to express pleasure to (a person), as on a happy occasion: They congratulated him on his marriage.

  2. Archaic. to express sympathetic joy or satisfaction at (an event).

  1. Obsolete. to salute.

Origin of congratulate

1540–50; <Latin congrātulātus, past participle of congrātulārī.See congratulant, -ate1

Other words from congratulate

  • con·grat·u·la·tor, noun
  • pre·con·grat·u·late, verb (used with object), pre·con·grat·u·lat·ed, pre·con·grat·u·lat·ing.
  • un·con·grat·u·lat·ed, adjective
  • un·con·grat·u·lat·ing, adjective

Words Nearby congratulate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use congratulate in a sentence

  • "I congratulate you on your engagement," he said at last, looking up with a face that seemed to Bernard hard and unnatural.

    Confidence | Henry James
  • The bride then goes to court; after which the ladies visit her, and proceed to congratulate the other members of the family.

  • "I am very glad, and congratulate you that Crompton Place is your home without a doubt," Jack said to her.

    The Cromptons | Mary J. Holmes
  • There are a certain number of ready-made phrases which we store and use when we wish to congratulate one another.

  • Let me congratulate you upon the fortitude and courage with which you have ignored those lying reports of my death.

    The Double Four | E. Phillips Oppenheim

British Dictionary definitions for congratulate


/ (kənˈɡrætjʊˌleɪt) /

  1. (usually foll by on) to communicate pleasure, approval, or praise to (a person or persons); compliment

  2. (often foll by on) to consider (oneself) clever or fortunate (as a result of): she congratulated herself on her tact

  1. obsolete to greet

Origin of congratulate

C16: from Latin congrātulārī, from grātulārī to rejoice, from grātus pleasing

Derived forms of congratulate

  • congratulation, noun
  • congratulator, noun
  • congratulatory or congratulative, adjective

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