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noun cer·e·mo·ny \ˈser-ə-ˌmō-nē, ˈse-rə-\

: a formal act or event that is a part of a social or religious occasion

: very polite or formal behavior

plural cer·e·mo·nies

Full Definition of CEREMONY

:  a formal act or series of acts prescribed by ritual, protocol, or convention <the marriage ceremony>
a :  a conventional act of politeness or etiquette <the ceremony of introduction>
b :  an action performed only formally with no deep significance
c :  a routine action performed with elaborate pomp
a :  prescribed procedures :  usages <the ceremony attending an inauguration>
b :  observance of an established code of civility or politeness <opened the door without ceremony and strode in>

Examples of CEREMONY

  1. There will be a ceremony honoring the town's veterans next week.
  2. With great ceremony, the children presented each of the visitors with a gift.
  3. He told them abruptly and without ceremony that they would have to leave.

Origin of CEREMONY

Middle English ceremonie, from Middle French ceremonie, from Latin caerimonia
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism
CEREMONIES Defined for Kids


noun cer·e·mo·ny \ˈser-ə-ˌmō-nē\
plural cer·e·mo·nies 1

Definition of CEREMONY for Kids

:  very polite behavior :  formality <“Who are you?” the lady demanded without ceremony.>


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