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

Also included daily are fresh fruits, juices, cereals and sides. Amy Aumick, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Brevard County: B&B finds success not on the beach," 6 May 2018 The drive is collecting cans of fruit, boxes of cereal and other non-perishable food. Jennifer Mcclellan, azcentral, "Joe's Real BBQ's Free Barbecue Day is May 2 in Gilbert," 1 May 2018 Nostalgia is a clear selling point in this regard — the movie makes the most of its retro setting, with copious use of The Smiths, appearances from Mr. T cereal, and other 1980s pop-culture callbacks. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Bumblebee proves Transformers movies can actually be resonant and emotional," 20 Dec. 2018 But food prices slipped in October as fruits, vegetables, cereals and bakery products became cheaper. Josh Boak, The Seattle Times, "US consumer prices increased 0.3 percent in October," 14 Nov. 2018 The Riverdale actress extols the virtues of RBG, cereal, and relocating to the mythical world of Game of Thrones. Team Marie Claire, Marie Claire, "Molly Ringwald, Teen Movie Queen and 'Riverdale' Star, on What Makes Her Tick," 25 July 2018 The menu reminded me of my high school lunchroom — cold cereal and scrambled eggs; burgers for lunch — a sensation amplified once seats filled up and people circled holding orange plastic trays, searching for a welcoming table. Anchorage Daily News, "A DIY trip through Alaska’s Inside Passage," 26 May 2018 There was, however, a funky-looking blonde sitting at our dining table reading the local newspaper with a bowl of cereal and a cup of black coffee. Elizabeth Baudouin, Vogue, "What My Mother’s Wife Taught Me About Life, and Love," 13 May 2018 Like the old tagline for Trix cereal: Silly rabbit, bangs are for kids! Vogue, "Who's the Best Beauty Muse for 2019? 11 Celebrity Icons for a Knockout Year Ahead," 5 Jan. 2019

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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