Definition of congratulate in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈɡratjʊleɪt/


[with object]
1Give (someone) one’s good wishes when something special or pleasant has happened to them: he had taken the chance to congratulate him on his marriage Simone wrote to her shortly after her engagement had been announced to congratulate her
More example sentences
  • The newly elected officers were congratulated and wished well in their work for the coming year.
  • Her many friends congratulate Mary and wish her lots of luck in the future.
  • From us in the newsroom we congratulate you and wish you well in retirement.
give someone one's good wishes, wish someone good luck, wish someone joy, drink someone's health, toast, drink (a toast) to
1.1Praise (someone) for an achievement: the operators are to be congratulated for the service that they provide
More example sentences
  • The players and management must be congratulated for this amazing achievement.
  • No doubt his constituents are proud of his achievement and congratulate him on his advancement.
  • I am, however, sincerely delighted to congratulate you on the achievement of a personal goal.
praise, commend, applaud, salute, honour, eulogize, extol, acclaim, sing the praises of, heap praise on, pay tribute to, speak highly/well of, flatter, compliment, say nice things about, express admiration for, wax lyrical about, make much of, pat on the back, take one's hat off to, throw bouquets at
informal crack someone/something up
British informal big someone/something up
North American informal ballyhoo
dated cry someone/something up
archaic emblazon
rare laud, panegyrize, felicitate
1.2 (congratulate oneself) Feel pride or satisfaction: she congratulated herself on her powers of deduction
More example sentences
  • He didn't do it but sure took pride in congratulating himself for triumphing over the impulse.
  • You go on, year after year, congratulating yourself that some piece of domestic equipment is doing well, lasting so long.
  • Perhaps, they can stop congratulating themselves on how well they have done in covering this story and start asking some hard questions.
take pride in, be/feel proud of, feel proud about, be proud of oneself for, flatter oneself on, preen oneself on, pat oneself on the back for, give oneself a pat on the back for;
find/take satisfaction in, feel satisfaction at, take delight in, find/take pleasure in, glory in, bask in, delight in, exult in, plume oneself on
archaic pique oneself on/in



Example sentences
  • Subsequently, the young defender was surrounded by congratulators, all in amber, but Arthur can't absolve himself of the fact that he could have done better there.
  • Being such a self congratulator, I was ready to extend the celebrations for my coming of age across a whole weekend, even though the date in question was on the Monday after.
  • As much as they tried to find moments alone, it was impossible to avoid the droves of congratulators.


Mid 16th century: from Latin congratulat- 'congratulated', from the verb congratulari, from con- 'with' + gratulari 'show joy' (from gratus 'pleasing').

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|gratu|late

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