Definition of congratulate in US English:

congratulate

verb

[with object]
  • 1Give (someone) one's good wishes when something special or pleasant has happened to them.

    ‘I went into the living room to congratulate Bill on his marriage’
    • ‘All their families and friends congratulate the happy couple and wish them all the very best for the future.’
    • ‘Her many friends congratulate Mary and wish her lots of luck in the future.’
    • ‘All their family and friends congratulate them and wish them many more years of happiness together.’
    • ‘They congratulated her on getting a grandson and asked her to announce a package for them on this happy occasion.’
    • ‘Micheal is from Kinvara in County Galway and we congratulate him on being honoured.’
    • ‘The newly elected officers were congratulated and wished well in their work for the coming year.’
    • ‘We congratulate him on his special occasion and we wish him many more of the same.’
    • ‘From us in the newsroom we congratulate you and wish you well in retirement.’
    • ‘Seven people left comments congratulating us, criticizing us, and warning us about our decision to live together.’
    • ‘We also wish to congratulate him on his retirement, and wish him many happy years and good luck in the years ahead.’
    • ‘A large crowd turned out to congratulate them and wish them the best in the future.’
    • ‘Please join me in congratulating them and wishing them the happiest of futures together.’
    give someone one's good wishes, wish someone good luck, wish someone joy, drink someone's health, toast, drink to, drink a toast to
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    1. 1.1 Praise (someone) for a particular achievement.
      ‘the operators are to be congratulated for the excellent service that they now provide’
      • ‘I would like to congratulate David on what he has achieved and I wish him all the best next week.’
      • ‘He and his staff are to be congratulated for their workmanship and their commitment to this scheme.’
      • ‘No doubt his constituents are proud of his achievement and congratulate him on his advancement.’
      • ‘She was in hospital in July having her first session of chemotherapy when flowers and cards flooded in congratulating her on publishing what has been the most remarkable debut of the year.’
      • ‘He has spent over fifty years at the top in a very demanding profession and deserves to be congratulated for it.’
      • ‘He wished that just once someone might congratulate him on a job well done.’
      • ‘The club should be congratulated for this tremendous example of internationalism.’
      • ‘I therefore wish to congratulate this brave man publicly for standing up for what he believed in.’
      • ‘We congratulate her on her success and wish her further advancement, if that is her desire.’
      • ‘And I look forward to congratulating him on a pretty darn good victory.’
      • ‘The club congratulates all teams who have made the finals and wishes them all every success.’
      • ‘People were coming up and wishing me Happy Birthday, and congratulating me on my performance.’
      • ‘Women at the grass roots must be congratulated for doing a very courageous job.’
      • ‘I am, however, sincerely delighted to congratulate you on the achievement of a personal goal.’
      • ‘So all in all it was a great week for Margaret and we congratulate her on her achievements.’
      • ‘Our Prime Minister must be congratulated for not making the event a political outing.’
      • ‘The children and their parents are to be congratulated for their efforts in making the event such a success.’
      • ‘The players and management must be congratulated for this amazing achievement.’
      • ‘He congratulated the team and management on their successes and wished them all the best for the coming season.’
      • ‘Students with exceptional attendance records have been congratulated for their dedication to school.’
      praise, commend, applaud, salute, honour, eulogize, extol, acclaim, sing the praises of, heap praise on, pay tribute to, speak highly of, speak 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
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    2. 1.2congratulate oneself Feel pride or satisfaction.
      ‘she congratulated herself on her powers of deduction’
      ‘the Director was congratulating himself that nothing could go wrong’
      • ‘In fact, the idea of listening to a bunch of pompous professionals congratulating themselves on their own erudition seems marginally less appealing than poking myself in the eye with a red-hot skewer.’
      • ‘Rather than congratulating themselves, Labor's national office should definitely hold an independent inquiry into their failure of a federal leader and Labor's disastrous, inept and disgraceful election campaign.’
      • ‘Within the divine plan, they see their role as making this gift available to others, rather than congratulating themselves on possessing it.’
      • ‘The fought to keep big corporations and fast food chains out of the town, but amidst congratulating themselves, fret that their paradise is too popular.’
      • ‘It was whilst quietly congratulating ourselves on this turn of events over the weekend that it dawned on me that we now have considerably more time on our hands, time that I squandered yesterday by cleaning the house.’
      • ‘After that, the stories came out in a rush, many of them editorials by journalists congratulating themselves for not running the story in the first place.’
      • ‘It makes me seethe with anger, the image of these people smugly congratulating themselves for their self-righteousness while hurting so many good and decent people.’
      • ‘Having decided to introduce a gay character (whilst no doubt congratulating themselves for their moral fortitude) the scriptwriters show no inclination to explore the issue further.’
      • ‘On a day when British officials were congratulating themselves on the team's best showing in an Olympic Games for 76 years, a record of an unenviable nature was later set on the track.’
      • ‘The major supermarkets have been congratulating themselves in delivering a Christmas bonus for millions of motorists by cutting fuel to below 80p a litre.’
      • ‘You go on, year after year, congratulating yourself that some piece of domestic equipment is doing well, lasting so long.’
      • ‘Young farmers have been congratulating themselves on an ‘excellent year of competition’ at their annual meeting.’
      • ‘The cycling authorities were still congratulating themselves on being ahead in the war against the cheats when the Tour de France was shown to be nothing more than a travelling medicine show.’
      • ‘Perhaps, they can stop congratulating themselves on how well they have done in covering this story and start asking some hard questions.’
      • ‘Instead of feeling like they've failed, smokers should be congratulating themselves on taking the first steps towards giving up for good.’
      • ‘In fact, journalists had started congratulating themselves that they did better in the election this year - I've heard a lot of positive views from journalists.’
      • ‘When European journalists and intellectuals aren't relishing the latest windy jeremiad by one of these cranks, they're busy congratulating themselves for their appreciation of nuance.’
      • ‘Leftists spend so much of their time congratulating themselves on being smarter and more moral than everybody else that they never stop and actually ask themselves if maybe they've got something wrong.’
      • ‘He didn't do it but sure took pride in congratulating himself for triumphing over the impulse.’
      • ‘So this weekend, we will be sitting on our living-room floor (we can't afford the rest of the furniture yet) congratulating ourselves; probably we'll unpack a few boxes and open a few cans as well.’
      take pride in, be proud of, 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
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Origin

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

Pronunciation