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 Specialty varieties include Key lime pie, cereal crunch, vegan chocolate peanut butter and spectacular s’mores. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "New Nitrogen Ice Cream Shop Opens," 5 Aug. 2019 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 Some, feeling adventurous, sprinkled green onion cereal pieces as garnish on South Korean signature dishes including kimchi and spicy ramen noodles. Washington Post, "Was new Chex flavor worth South Koreans’ 16-year wait?," 3 July 2020 My breakfast menu is limited to eggs, toast and cereal for all involved. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Quarantine Diary: Lin-Manuel Miranda is relying on tortillas and getting toddler kicks to the eye," 1 July 2020 Anderson recommends things like a bowl of cereal and an apple, yogurt and toast, or a breakfast burrito with multiple food groups wrapped inside. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, "Food Staples Every Dorm Room Needs," 26 June 2020 Breakfasts can have cereal, toaster pastries or breakfast tacos as the main course. John Delapp, Houston Chronicle, "Inside the Pasadena ISD program that has served 780,000 free curbside meals," 24 June 2020 The hot breakfast buffets were swapped out with individual containers of cereal and yogurt, tiny frozen breakfast burritos and sandwiches, . Kellie Hwang, SFChronicle.com, "A reporter’s surreal pandemic cross-country move to the Bay Area," 23 June 2020 Just look at the number of cereal and cola choices in your local supermarket. Matt Goulding, The Atlantic, "Our Weird Restaurant Future," 19 June 2020 Doughnut options include maple frosting and bacon and cereal toppings such as Cap'n Crunch and Froot Loops. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Voodoo Doughnut to open Montrose shop," 16 June 2020 Neatly aligned in the pantry are a dozen cans of vegetables, three boxes of cereal, and a stack of protein bars. Cheryl Jarvis, Longreads, "Trading Spaces," 10 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for cereal

Time Traveler

The first known use of cereal was in 1818

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Statistics for cereal

Cite this Entry

“Cereal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cereal. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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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

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