Ce·​res | \ ˈsir-(ˌ)ēz How to pronounce Ceres (audio) \

Definition of Ceres

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the Roman goddess of agriculture — compare demeter
2 : a dwarf planet that orbits within the asteroid belt with a mean distance from the sun of 2.7 astronomical units (260 million miles) and a diameter of 590 miles (950 kilometers)


geographical name
Ce·​res | \ ˈsir-(ˌ)ēz How to pronounce Ceres (audio) \

Definition of Ceres (Entry 2 of 2)

city in central California southeast of Modesto population 45,417

First Known Use of Ceres


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Ceres


Latin Cerer-, Cerēs, probably personified noun derivative going back to an Indo-European adjective *ḱerh3-ḗs "of grain," derivative of *ḱérh3-o/es "nourishment, grain," derivative of a verbal base *ḱerh3- "feed, fill, satisfy," whence also Greek koréō "(I) will satiate, fill," Lithuanian šeriù, šérti "to feed," Germanic *hersija- "of grain" (whence Old Saxon hirsi "millet," Old High German hirso, hirsi)

Note: Latin crēscere "to increase" and creāre "to beget, bring into being" are most likely unrelated—see crescent entry 1.

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The first known use of Ceres was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Ceres.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ceres. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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