Meaning of “congratulate” in the English Dictionary

"congratulate" in British English

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congratulateverb [ T ]

uk /kənˈɡrætʃ.ə.leɪt/ us /kənˈɡrætʃ.ə.leɪt/

B2 to praise someone and say that you approve of or are pleased about a special or unusual achievement:

I was just congratulating Ceri on winning/on having won her race.

More examples

  • The defeated candidate gave a dignified speech in which he congratulated his rival.
  • His plan was such a success that even his original critics had to congratulate him.
  • Granny rang up to congratulate him on passing his exams.
  • I must congratulate you - this is a very impressive piece of work.
  • It is my wife you should be congratulating - she did all the hard work.
congratulatory
adjective uk /kənˌɡrætʃ.əˈleɪ.tər.i/ us /kənˈɡrætʃ.əl.ə.tɔːr.i/

a congratulatory speech

(Definition of “congratulate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"congratulate" in American English

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congratulateverb [ T ]

us /kənˈɡrætʃ·əˌleɪt, -ˈɡrædʒ-/

to praise someone by expressing pleasure at that person's success or happiness:

I congratulated Jill on winning the award.

(Definition of “congratulate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)