To commemorate something means to remember something and by doing so to honor it, as in “We would like to commemorate his many years of past service by presenting him with this lovely gold watch.”

The word commemorate has a pretty clear echo of memory in it, so it can help to keep it in your mind just by noticing that. You might also notice that you’ve seen the word before, either in late-night infomercials or in various advertisements in magazines, when they talk about commemorative plates, or stamps, or coins: little things that are supposed to honor events or people by recalling them to our collective memory.

Definitions of commemorate

v call to remembrance; keep alive the memory of someone or something, as in a ceremony


v be or provide a memorial to a person or an event

“This sculpture commemorates the victims of the concentration camps”
immortalise, immortalize, memorialise, memorialize, record
monumentalise, monumentalize
record or memorialize lastingly with a monument
Type of:
put in the mind of someone

v mark by some ceremony or observation

Type of:
celebrate, keep, observe
behave as expected during of holidays or rites

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