[ sel-uh-breyt ]
/ ˈsɛl əˌbreɪt /

verb (used with object), cel·e·brat·ed, cel·e·brat·ing.

to observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities: to celebrate Christmas; to celebrate the success of a new play.
to make known publicly; proclaim: The newspaper celebrated the end of the war in red headlines.
to praise widely or to present to widespread and favorable public notice, as through newspapers or novels: a novel celebrating the joys of marriage; the countryside celebrated in the novels of Hardy.
to perform with appropriate rites and ceremonies; solemnize: to celebrate a marriage.

verb (used without object), cel·e·brat·ed, cel·e·brat·ing.

Origin of celebrate

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin celebrātus past participle of celebrāre to solemnize, celebrate, honor, equivalent to celebr- (stem of celeber) often repeated, famous + -ātus -ate1

Related forms

Can be confused

celebrate celibate cerebrate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for celebrate

British Dictionary definitions for celebrate


/ (ˈsɛlɪˌbreɪt) /


to rejoice in or have special festivities to mark (a happy day, event, etc)
(tr) to observe (a birthday, anniversary, etc)she celebrates her ninetieth birthday next month
(tr) to perform (a solemn or religious ceremony), esp to officiate at (Mass)
(tr) to praise publicly; proclaim

Derived Forms

celebration, nouncelebrative, adjectivecelebrator, nouncelebratory, adjective

Word Origin for celebrate

C15: from Latin celebrāre, from celeber numerous, thronged, renowned
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