Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To observe (a day or event) with ceremonies of respect, festivity, or rejoicing. See Synonyms at observe.
  • transitive v. To perform (a religious ceremony): celebrate Mass.
  • transitive v. To extol or praise: a sonnet that celebrates love.
  • transitive v. To make widely known; display: "a determination on the author's part to celebrate . . . the offenses of another” ( William H. Pritchard).
  • intransitive v. To observe an occasion with appropriate ceremony or festivity.
  • intransitive v. To perform a religious ceremony.
  • intransitive v. To engage in festivities: went out and celebrated after the victory.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To extol or honour in a solemn manner.
  • v. To honour by rites, by ceremonies of joy and respect, or by refraining from ordinary business; to observe duly; to keep.
  • v. To engage in joyful activity in appreciation of an event.
  • v. To perform or participate in, as a sacrament or solemn rite; to solemnize; to perform with appropriate rites.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To extol or honor in a solemn manner.
  • transitive v. To honor by solemn rites, by ceremonies of joy and respect, or by refraining from ordinary business; to observe duly; to keep.
  • transitive v. To perform or participate in, as a sacrament or solemn rite; to solemnize; to perform with appropriate rites.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make known, especially with honor or praise; extol; glorify.
  • To commemorate or honor with demonstrations of joy, sorrow, respect, etc.: as, to celebrate a birthday or other anniversary; to celebrate a victory.
  • To perform solemnly or with appropriate rites and ceremonies: as to celebrate mass; to celebrate a marriage or a public funeral.
  • To laud, magnify, glorify.2, 3. Keep, Observe, Solemnize, Celebrate, Commemorate. Keep is an idiomatic word for observe: as, to keep the Sabbath; to keep Lent or feast-days. To observe is to pay regard to, in a reverent and especially a religious way. (See observance.) We speak of observing the Sabbath, of observing the wishes of one's father. To solemnize is to celebrate religiously. To celebrate is to mark, distinguish, or perform with joy and honor: as, to celebrate an anniversary; to celebrate a marriage. To commemorate is to keep in memory public and solemn acts: as, to commemorate the resurrection by observing Easter.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. have a celebration
  • v. behave as expected during of holidays or rites
  • v. assign great social importance to

Etymologies

Middle English celebraten, from Latin celebrāre, celebrāt-, to frequent, celebrate, from celeber, celebr-, frequented, famous.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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