To celebrate means to mark a special day, event, or holiday. You might celebrate a birthday, a religious holiday, or even the anniversary of a famous battle.

Use celebrate for festive, happy occasions. If the special day, event, or holiday is more solemn or introspective, a verb like observe is often used. After we observe Memorial Day, we look forward to celebrating the Fourth of July. The verb can also mean to honor or praise — “The book celebrated the life of the actress who had given so much to worthy causes.”

Definitions of celebrate
  1. verb

    have a celebration

    “After the exam, the students were
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    celebrate a jubilee
    jollify, make happy, make merry, make whoopie, racket, revel, wassail, whoop it up

    celebrate noisily, often indulging in drinking; engage in uproarious festivities

    have or participate in a party

    have or give a reception

    participate in an all-night techno dance party
    carouse, riot, roister

    engage in boisterous, drunken merrymaking
    type of:

    get together, meet

    get together socially or for a specific purpose

  2. verb

    behave as expected during of holidays or rites

    celebrate Christmas”
    keep, observe
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    commemorate, mark

    mark by some ceremony or observation

    observe the customs of mourning after the death of a loved one
    solemnise, solemnize

    observe or perform with dignity or gravity

  3. verb

    assign great social importance to

    “The film director was
    celebrated all over Hollywood”
    lionise, lionize
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    type of:

    abide by, honor, honour, observe, respect

    show respect towards

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