English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English celebraten, from Latin celebratus, past participle of celebrō (frequent, go to in great numbers, celebrate, honor, praise), from celeber (frequented, populous). Displaced native Old English fæġnian.

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

celebrate (third-person singular simple present celebrates, present participle celebrating, simple past and past participle celebrated)

  1. (transitive) To extol or honour in a solemn manner.
    Synonym: fete
    to celebrate the name of the Most High
    • 2016 August 7, “Journalism”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 3, episode 20, John Oliver (actor), via HBO:
      Okay, that is simply not true. If that were the case, you wouldn’t need to have an Olympics. The whole reason we do this is to find out who is better than everyone else, so that we can make them stand higher than the other people who are not as good as them, because the point of the games is not to celebrate equality. It is to celebrate individuals’ excellence. So let us all settle in for two incredible weeks of celebrating the fittest, the bravest, the most beautiful and of course, the drunkest of us all. “Did somebody say ‘party’?”
  2. (transitive) To honour by rites, by ceremonies of joy and respect, or by refraining from ordinary business; to observe duly.
    Synonyms: observe, keep
    to celebrate a birthday
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 20, in The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      Hester Earle and Violet Wayne were moving about the aisle with bundles of wheat-ears and streamers of ivy, for the harvest thanksgiving was shortly to be celebrated, while the vicar stood waiting for their directions on the chancel steps with a great handful of crimson gladioli.
  3. (intransitive) To engage in joyful activity in appreciation of an event.
    I was promoted today at work—let’s celebrate!
    • 2012 May 5, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      As Di Matteo celebrated and captain John Terry raised the trophy for the fourth time, the Italian increased his claims to become the permanent successor to Andre Villas-Boas by landing a trophy.
  4. (transitive) To perform or participate in, as a sacrament or solemn rite; to perform with appropriate rites.
    Synonym: solemnize
    to celebrate a marriage

Usage notes edit

In sense “to conduct ceremonies, to follow a custom”, generally used of festive occasions, such as Christmas and birthdays. For more solemn occasions, particularly certain religious holidays (“holy days”) and commemorations, the term observe is used instead, as in “This office will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.”

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Esperanto edit

Adverb edit


  1. present adverbial passive participle of celebri

Italian edit

Verb edit


  1. inflection of celebrare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Anagrams edit

Latin edit

Verb edit


  1. second-person plural present active imperative of celebrō

Spanish edit

Verb edit


  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of celebrar combined with te