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

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 There's something magical about being in control of characters and environments that are so familiar, like a Saturday morning cereal-and-cartoons session come to life. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2018," 24 Dec. 2018 Rather than feasting on, say, a plate of catfish in the years before his death, Burial 7/I might have spooned up calorie-rich porridge, a mix of cereals and goat’s milk. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018 Kellogg has said the Illinois plant no longer makes cereal for Kellogg. Annie Gasparro, WSJ, "Salmonella Thrived at Plant That Made Kellogg’s Honey Smacks," 28 Sep. 2018 As the Times points out, products as far-ranging as tooth fillings, cereals, flip-flops, toilet paper, couch cushions, cosmetics, frozen oysters, headphones, kombucha, and even beloved chocolate have faced Prop 65 compliance. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "After coffee brewhaha, CA fears cancer warnings have “gone seriously wrong”," 16 Aug. 2018 Money will help buy peanut butter, jelly, tuna, cereal, canned pasta and other staples that are in demand. Bill Leukhardt, Courant Community, "Plainville VFW Post Holding Raffle To Benefit Town's Food Pantry, School Sports," 27 June 2018 This soft, watery blend of different ingredients often contains foods like meat, cereals, poultry and trout pellets, and shrimp, according to the Handbook of Avian Medicine. National Geographic, "What Does It Take to Raise a Flamingo?," 25 June 2018 Extras, like waffle cones or bowls, are $1 to $2 and toppings, like sauces, candies, sprinkles, baked goods, fruit and cereal, are 50 to 65 cents. Leeanne Griffin, courant.com, "Capital Ice Cream Opens On Capitol Avenue In Hartford," 7 June 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 \

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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