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verb (used with object), cel·e·brat·ed, cel·e·brat·ing.
  1. to observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities: to celebrate Christmas; to celebrate the success of a new play.
  2. to make known publicly; proclaim: The newspaper celebrated the end of the war in red headlines.
  3. 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.
  4. to perform with appropriate rites and ceremonies; solemnize: to celebrate a marriage.
verb (used without object), cel·e·brat·ed, cel·e·brat·ing.
  1. to observe a day or commemorate an event with ceremonies or festivities.
  2. to perform a religious ceremony, especially Mass or the Lord's Supper.
  3. to have or participate in a party, drinking spree, or uninhibited good time: You look like you were up celebrating all night.

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 formscel·e·bra·tive, adjectivecel·e·bra·tor, cel·e·brat·er, nouncel·e·bra·to·ry [sel-uh-bruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, suh-leb-ruh-] /ˈsɛl ə brəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, səˈlɛb rə-/, adjectivepre·cel·e·brate, verb, pre·cel·e·brat·ed, pre·cel·e·brat·ing.re·cel·e·brate, verb, re·cel·e·brat·ed, re·cel·e·brat·ing.un·cel·e·brat·ing, adjective
Can be confusedcelebrate celibate cerebrate

Synonyms for celebrate

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for celebrative

remembering, monumental, celebrative, commemoratory, dedicatory

Examples from the Web for celebrative

Historical Examples of celebrative

  • All colors in the wall except gloomy black; all the music in the major-key, because celebrative and jubilant.

    New Tabernacle Sermons

    Thomas De Witt Talmage

British Dictionary definitions for celebrative


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

Word Origin and History for celebrative



mid-15c., originally of the Mass, from Latin celebratus "much-frequented; kept solemn; famous," past participle of celebrare "assemble to honor," also "to publish; sing praises of; practice often," originally "to frequent in great numbers," from celeber "frequented, populous, crowded;" with transferred senses of "well-attended; famous; often-repeated." Related: Celebrated; celebrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper