cereal

adjective
ce·​re·​al | \ ˈsir-ē-əl How to pronounce cereal (audio) \

Definition of cereal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to grain or to the plants that produce it also : made of grain

cereal

noun

Definition of cereal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a plant (such as a grass) yielding starchy grain suitable for food also : its grain
2 : a prepared foodstuff of grain (such as oatmeal or cornflakes)

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Cereal Has Roots in Roman Myth

The Roman goddess Ceres, the equivalent of the Greek Demeter, was a calm goddess who didn't take part in the quarrels of the other gods. Her particular responsibility was the food-giving plants, and for that reason the food grains came to carry her name. Cereals of the ancient Romans included wheat, barley, spelt, oats, and millet—but not corn (maize), which was a cereal of the Americas.

Examples of cereal in a Sentence

Noun

Wheat and barley are common cereals. Some kinds of cereal have a lot of added sugar. Some cereals have a lot of added sugar.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Cereal grains like oatmeal, whole fruits, and beans are all good sources of soluble fiber. Dr. Manny Alvarez, Fox News, "Could this be the next great weight loss secret?," 23 May 2017 Cereal growers must meet stringent quality criteria according to the end-use of their crop: for pasta production durum wheat must have a protein content of 14%. National Geographic, "Pasta Potential: Why the World Needs Better Wheat," 24 Feb. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Truly heaven on the tongue, and a delicious topping for a bowl of yogurt, cereal (hot or cold) or ice cream: Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: How to select (and utilize) melon," 2 July 2019 In one of the film’s most memorable scenes, Crash tosses aside his bowl of cereal — and everything on Annie’s (Susan Sarandon) kitchen island — and makes love to her. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Kevin Costner reflects on his biggest roles, from Field of Dreams to Yellowstone," 24 June 2019 There is already less demand for juices and cereal with high sugar content. Karen Hofman, Quartz Africa, "Scientists are worried about the sugar levels of baby food in South Africa," 31 May 2019 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this week that the Kellogg's product, which is a grainy cereal with honey clusters, has been recalled. Devon Elizabeth, SELF, "Kellogg's Honey Smacks Recalled for Possible Salmonella Contamination," 15 June 2018 Break it into small pieces and treat it like cereal with a splash of milk on top, or serve it over macerated fruit with yogurt or barely sweetened whipped cream. Andy Baraghani, Bon Appetit, "This Tahini Granola Is Nutty, Cluster-y, and Totally Grain-Free," 9 Apr. 2018 Within a few months, Bourus was subsisting on Chex cereal with skim milk, her weight dwindling to 97 pounds. Courtney Rubin, Marie Claire, "Cleansing's Dirty Secret," 26 Apr. 2013 The city currently accepts items including: All cardboard products, cereal boxes, corrugated boxes, paper towel rolls, egg cartons, milk and juice cartons, aseptic containers (soy, wine, etc.). Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "West University Place seeks new recycling option for residents," 6 June 2019 Hot temperatures and drought typically stunt the growth of cereals and reduce their quality. Benjamin Parkin, WSJ, "Global Heat Wave Toasts Wheat and Prices Soar," 4 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cereal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cereal

Adjective

1818, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cereal

Adjective

borrowed from French & Latin; French céréale, borrowed from Latin Ceriālis, Cereālis "of the goddess Ceres, of wheat or bread," from Cerer-, Cerēs ceres + -ālis -al entry 1

Note: The derivation of Ceriālis, Cereālis is unclear, as formation directly from the noun does not look possible. M. Leumann (Lateinische Laut- und Formenlehre, Munich, 1977, p. 180) suggests as the base an earlier *Cerrius, from *Cerzios, syncopated from a possessive adjective *Cerez-ios. A putative *Cerriālis would have been re-formed to Ceriālis, then Cereālis, after Cerēs.

Noun

derivative of cereal entry 1

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More Definitions for cereal

cereal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cereal

: a plant (such as a grass) that produces grain that can be eaten
: a breakfast food made from grain

cereal

noun
ce·​re·​al | \ ˈsir-ē-əl How to pronounce cereal (audio) \

Kids Definition of cereal

1 : a plant (as a grass) that produces grain for food
2 : a food prepared from grain breakfast cereals

cereal

adjective
ce·​re·​al | \ ˈsir-ē-əl How to pronounce cereal (audio) \

Medical Definition of cereal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to grain or to the plants that produce it also : made of grain

cereal

noun

Medical Definition of cereal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a plant (as a grass) yielding farinaceous grain suitable for food also : its grain
2 : a prepared foodstuff of grain

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More from Merriam-Webster on cereal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cereal

Spanish Central: Translation of cereal

Nglish: Translation of cereal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cereal for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cereal

Comments on cereal

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