cereal

adjective
ce·​re·​al | \ˈsir-ē-əl \

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

That food turns out to be a type of primitive flatbread made of some prehistoric cereals. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Archeologists Find World's Oldest Bread," 17 July 2018 As the concert crowd grew to more than 30,000 strong, breakfast for one circle of friends included a communal pour of Cookie Crisp cereal. Susie Schmank, Indianapolis Star, "Indy 500 Snake Pit revelers brave scorching conditions for race-day party," 27 May 2018 For the first time in 10 years, there's a new marshmallow shape coming to boxes of Lucky Charms cereal: the magical unicorn. Melissa Minton, Teen Vogue, "Lucky Charms Is Adding a Unicorn Marshmallow Shape," 20 Feb. 2018 Sitting on the very edge of the first couch was a young man, hair uncombed, T-shirt wrinkled, emitting a faint odor of sweat. Crumbs of breakfast cereal cast a pebbled road across his chest. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Google’s former PR boss Jessica Powell wrote a satirical novel about tech and published it all on Medium," 2 Oct. 2018 Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal was recently recalled after it was determined it was linked to a salmonella outbreak. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "McDonald's, Chipotle and other chains with foodborne illness outbreaks: How to stay safe," 3 Aug. 2018 These include outbreaks of salmonella associated with Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal, precut melons and eggs, and cyclospora illnesses associated with Del Monte vegetable trays. NBC News, "Dirty canal water may have tainted romaine lettuce with E. coli," 29 June 2018 Last week, another salmonella outbreak was linked to Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal, which was pulled off store shelves nationwide. CBS News, "How to protect your family from foodborne illness outbreaks," 20 June 2018 And the Kellogg Company recalled boxes that were within the cereal's one-year shelf life. Devon Elizabeth, SELF, "Update: There Are Now 100 Salmonella Cases Linked to Recalled Honey Smacks Cereal," 13 July 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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Dictionary Entries near cereal

cercus

-cercy

cere

cereal

cerealian

cerealist

cereal leaf beetle

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Time Traveler for cereal

The first known use of cereal was in 1818

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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 \

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 \

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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