[kuh n-grach-uh-ley-shuh n or, often, -graj-, kuh ng-]


the act of congratulating.
congratulations, an expression of joy in the success or good fortune of another.


congratulations, (used to express joy in the success or good fortune of another): Congratulations! You have just won the lottery!

Origin of congratulation

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin congrātulātiōn- (stem of congrātulātiō), equivalent to congrātulāt(us) (see congratulate) + -iōn- -ion
Related formscon·grat·u·la·tion·al, adjectivepre·con·grat·u·la·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for congratulations

hail, felicitations

Examples from the Web for congratulations

Contemporary Examples of congratulations

Historical Examples of congratulations

  • I call on you, dear Alicia, for congratulations: I am my own self, gay and triumphant!

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • I accept your congratulations with pride, and I am glad you approve.'

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Any but these men of iron would have adjourned for thanks and congratulations.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • "You have got to thank me for it all, Jimmy," Ethel said, when he came to her for congratulations.

    People of Position

    Stanley Portal Hyatt

  • They might have written to him, and have offered their congratulations.

    People of Position

    Stanley Portal Hyatt

British Dictionary definitions for congratulations


pl n, sentence substitute

expressions of pleasure or joy; felicitations
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 congratulations

1630s, an exclamation conveying a sentiment of congratulation, from congratulation (q.v.).



mid-15c., from Latin congratulationem (nominative congratulatio), noun of action from past participle stem of congratulari "wish joy," from com- "together, with" (see com-) + gratulari "give thanks, show joy," from gratus "agreeable" (see grace (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper