• congratulate •
Pronunciation: kên-græ-chê-layt • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Verb
Meaning: To express praise or recognition for achievement, to express your joy for someone in their success.
Notes: The act of congratulating is called congratulation. It is a congratulative or congratulatory act. The one who congratulates is the congratulator, and the recipient of the congratulations should be the congratulee but, apparently, no one has dared use it yet.
In Play: First, a straightforward use of today's Good Word would go something like this: "Siddy Hall was congratulated on her election to the town council." The accomplishment deserving congratulations need not be great: "The whole team enthusiastically congratulated the coach for staying sober through the whole game." He is also to be congratulated for even showing up.
Word History: This word was built on Latin congratulatus, the past participle of congratulari "to congratulate", comprising com- "(together) with" + gratulari "to rejoice". The root of this verb is gratus "pleasing", which Latin inherited from PIE gwerê- "to favor", which went into the making of grace, gratuity, and grateful. The noun corresponding to gratus is gratia "kindness". The ablative plural of this word is gratis "out of kindness", which English borrowed as a high-falutin' alternative to free. (Let's all now congratulate Joakim Larsson of Sweden for seeing the interest in and recommending today's excellent Good Word.)