Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Commemorate

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is commemorate. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

To commemorate something is to call it to remembrance or mark it by some ceremony or observation. Plaques and monuments can commemorate a person or event by serving as memorials.

// A plaque commemorates the ceremony that took place here 50 years ago.


“Set to be unveiled this fall in the West End’s Laurel Park, the bronze statue and plaza will commemorate the life and legacy of Cincinnati’s world heavyweight boxing champion, Ezzard Charles.” — Sharon Coolidge, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 20 Apr. 2022

Did You Know?

When you remember something, you are mindful of it. It’s appropriate, therefore, that commemorate and other related memory-associated words (including memorable, memorial, remember, and memory itself) come from the Latin root memor, meaning “mindful.” English speakers have been marking the memory of important events with commemorate since the late 16th century.

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