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

Hot temperatures and drought typically stunt the growth of cereals and reduce their quality. Benjamin Parkin, WSJ, "Global Heat Wave Toasts Wheat and Prices Soar," 4 Aug. 2018 Shares of companies selling everyday household goods such as cereal, shampoo and dish soap are underperforming the S&P 500 in January. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Consumer-Staples Stocks Fall Out of Favor as Investors Embrace Risk," 30 Jan. 2019 Pour cereal into a mixing bowl, add the rice syrup mixture, and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. 2. Julia Sherman, New York Times, "A Cookbook of Artists’ Creative Summer Desserts," 22 June 2018 Vitamin D is also found in a few foods: cod liver oil, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, egg yolks and fortified cereal, milk and orange juice. NBC News, "Vitamin D may lower colon cancer risk, especially in women, study finds," 14 June 2018 Sold at mall kiosks across America, it’s made by pouring liquid nitrogen over a snack food, such as cheese puffs or sugary cereal, which freezes it instantly to a very cold temperature, typically around negative-320 degrees Fahrenheit. Maura Judkis, The Seattle Times, "Dragon’s Breath snacks make you exhale ‘smoke’ — and they’re sending teens to the hospital," 7 Aug. 2018 More: Skip the bowl, Michigan college student eats cereal out of a pothole Twitter is a treasure trove of pothole humor. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Big spring mood: 'Ohio is literally a pothole'," 5 Apr. 2018 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

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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