Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: cel·e·brate
Pronunciation: /ˈseləˌbrāt

Definition of celebrate in English:


[with object]
1Publicly acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity: they were celebrating their wedding anniversary at a restaurant [no object]: she celebrated with a glass of champagne
More example sentences
  • A Mayo couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a special get-together in England.
  • Tennis fans were today celebrating a major victory in their fight to secure a new tennis centre for York.
  • Birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated grandly; sometimes the stars are even gifted with crowns or other expensive items.
1.1Reach (a birthday or anniversary).
Example sentences
  • A Lisselton woman celebrates a birthday with a difference this Tuesday as she reaches the magical 100 mark.
  • Orkney's oldest resident celebrated her birthday on Wednesday, reaching the grand old age of 103.
  • Mr Clinton was delighted to hear that Orla will be celebrating her tenth birthday on the tenth anniversary of the first IRA ceasefire next week.
2Perform (a religious ceremony) publicly and duly, in particular officiate at (the Eucharist): he celebrated holy communion
More example sentences
  • Travers celebrated the Requiem Mass and delivered a lovely ceremony celebrating the life of Dessie and referring to his special love for music and life.
  • It was the first time the enrolment ceremony for these Sacraments was celebrated within the Mass.
  • The Pope said Catholic priests were forbidden to celebrate Eucharistic liturgies with Protestant ministers.
3Honor or praise publicly: a film celebrating the actor’s career
More example sentences
  • The media across the Islamic Arab world have endorsed that promise, praised the film, and celebrated its new life in the United States.
  • Several universities, institutes and schools in the U.S., India and other countries have been honouring Chawla with awards celebrating her spirit.
  • Those honoured include celebrated benefactor John Harrison, brewer Joshua Tetley and cricket legend Sir Leonard Hutton.
praise, extol, glorify, eulogize, reverence, honor, pay tribute to
formal laud
acclaimed, admired, highly rated, lionized, revered, honored, esteemed, exalted, vaunted, well-thought-of, ballyhooed;
formal lauded


late Middle English (sense 2): from Latin celebrat- 'celebrated', from the verb celebrare, from celeber, celebr- 'frequented or honored'.



Pronunciation: /-ˌbrātər/
Example sentences
  • He's a true Hollywood maverick (he also turned down a Rhodes Scholarship), who has attracted equal numbers of detractors and celebrators.
  • Is she really a natural-born celebrator, joyous and outgoing at every turn?
  • ‘We're not traditional Thanksgiving celebrators,’ he explained.


Pronunciation: /səˈlebrəˌtôrē, ˈseləbrə-/
Example sentences
  • The players and bosses were whisked away on Saturday night to a secret location for a celebratory holiday.
  • It is best known for its sombre mood, but it can also be joyous and celebratory.
  • The mood was celebratory as hundreds of jubilant residents filled the marquee.

Words that rhyme with celebrate


Definition of celebrate in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day glen
Pronunciation: ɡlɛn
a narrow valley, especially in Scotland or Ireland