Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To observe (a day or event) with ceremonies of respect, festivity, or rejoicing. synonym: observe.
  • intransitive verb To perform (a religious ceremony).
  • intransitive verb To extol or praise.
  • intransitive verb To make widely known; display.
  • intransitive verb To observe an occasion with appropriate ceremony or festivity.
  • intransitive verb To perform a religious ceremony.
  • intransitive verb To engage in festivities.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English celebraten, from Latin celebrāre, celebrāt-, to frequent, celebrate, from celeber, celebr-, frequented, famous.]

Examples

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