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, 5 Aug. 2019 Cereal grains like oatmeal, whole fruits, and beans are all good sources of soluble fiber. Dr. Manny Alvarez, Fox News, 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, 24 Feb. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Beech-Nut Nutrition is recalling some infant rice cereal sold nationwide because samples of the product showed excessive levels of arsenic. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 9 June 2021 Both the expiration date and product numbers can be found at the bottom of the cereal canister. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, 9 June 2021 Another client, afraid of embarrassing herself in a grocery store, purposely went to the cereal aisle and knocked a few boxes onto the floor. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, 3 June 2021 Steep increases in demand made pet food scarce and Grape-Nuts cereal all but disappear from American store shelves for a time. New York Times, 1 June 2021 Get into it), Oliver’s larger point seems be cereal’s lack of prominence and innovation as the years go on. Halle Kiefer, Vulture, 31 May 2021 What remnant of Richard does Monica drop in Ross’ cereal? Brandt Ranj, Rolling Stone, 26 May 2021 Lucas Kwan Peterson makes a dining-in recommendation: cold cereal. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 22 May 2021 Jiang, who originally hails from Qingdao city, and moved to the U.S. alone at the age of 19, recalls how black sesame cereal has always been dear and near to her heart during her upbringing. Douglas Yu, Forbes, 20 May 2021

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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Learn More About cereal

Statistics for cereal

Cite this Entry

“Cereal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cereal. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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