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
  1. verb
    call to remembrance; keep alive the memory of someone or something, as in a ceremony
    synonyms: remember
  2. verb
    be or provide a memorial to a person or an event
    “This sculpture commemorates the victims of the concentration camps”
    synonyms: immortalise, immortalize, memorialise, memorialize, record
    see moresee less
    monumentalise, monumentalize
    record or memorialize lastingly with a monument
    type of:
    put in the mind of someone
  3. verb
    mark by some ceremony or observation
    synonyms: mark
    see moresee less
    type of:
    celebrate, keep, observe
    behave as expected during of holidays or rites
Word Family
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