ceremonial

adjective
cer·​e·​mo·​ni·​al | \ˌser-ə-ˈmō-nē-əl, ˌse-rə-\

Definition of ceremonial 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : marked by, involved in, or belonging to ceremony : stressing careful attention to form and detail ceremonial rites

2 : having no real power or influence his new position is largely ceremonial

ceremonial

noun

Definition of ceremonial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a ceremonial act, action, or system

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Other Words from ceremonial

Adjective

ceremonialism \ -​ə-​ˌli-​zəm \ noun
ceremonialist \ -​ə-​list \ noun
ceremonially \ -​ə-​lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for ceremonial

Adjective

ceremonial, ceremonious, formal, conventional mean marked by attention to or adhering strictly to prescribed forms. ceremonial and ceremonious both imply strict attention to what is prescribed by custom or by ritual, but ceremonial applies to things that are associated with ceremonies a ceremonial offering , ceremonious to persons given to ceremony or to acts attended by ceremony. made his ceremonious entrance formal applies both to things prescribed by and to persons obedient to custom and may suggest stiff, restrained, or old-fashioned behavior. a formal report the headmaster's formal manner conventional implies accord with general custom and usage conventional courtesy and may suggest a stodgy lack of originality or independence. conventional fiction

Examples of ceremonial in a Sentence

Adjective

The tribe has different ceremonial masks for each ceremony. His new position is largely ceremonial because all the decisions are actually made by a committee.

Noun

a number of religious ceremonials the funeral of a pope is usually marked by rich pageantry and elaborate ceremonials
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

At his feet, a line of purple shovels had been laid out for the ceremonial groundbreaking. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville City's James O'Connor has earned his exit bows," 29 June 2018 The hearing on Thursday was held in a ceremonial courtroom to allow for more than 100 people to pack in. Andrew M Harris, Bloomberg.com, "Trump, Democrats Clash in D.C. Court Over President's Empire," 7 June 2018 While officials did the ceremonial groundbreaking, Dan Feltman, a city of Aurora engineer who is project manager, said actual work will start June 15, when the city’s Illinois Department of Natural Resources permit begins. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora officials say new bridge to be built over Fox River a 'game changer'," 16 May 2018 Both trains broke a ceremonial ribbon upon arriving in Connecticut’s capital. Washington Post, "Commuter rail line from N. Haven to Springfield opens," 15 June 2018 After cutting the ceremonial ribbon, dignitaries and residents tested the new trail, creating a convoy of bicyclists, walkers and people on scooters. Luke Money, latimes.com, "Costa Mesa officials celebrate completion of Arlington Drive renovation," 18 May 2018 On Sunday, along with films, house tours, another open mic, and poetry readings, Camden Mayor Frank Moran will cut the ceremonial ribbon. John Timpane, Philly.com, "A weekend of poetry to celebrate Nick Virgilio Writers House in Camden," 25 Apr. 2018 Though it was touted as a purely ceremonial trip and a chance for the young prince to meet with and hear ordinary people in the region, the political situation here is hard to avoid. Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, "Prince William visits Jerusalem’s holy sites, concluding historic visit," 28 June 2018 That said, the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, the department of Buckingham Palace responsible for all public events — state visits, palace garden parties, and the like — will oversee all the necessary logistical and ceremonial details. Sarah Lyall, BostonGlobe.com, "There’s a big wedding Saturday. Something about a prince marrying an American," 15 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The ceremony eclipsed in pomp and splendor any recent ceremonial of the British court. Scott Harrison, latimes.com, "Royal Wedding: British royal weddings since 1840," 15 May 2018 The actress said this stemmed from working non-stop on back-to-back albums, her 2009 debut Lungs and 2011's Ceremonials. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Florence + the Machine Performs on 'The Late Show'," 7 Oct. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ceremonial.' 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 ceremonial

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for ceremonial

The first known use of ceremonial was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for ceremonial

ceremonial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ceremonial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: used in or done as part of a ceremony

: including a ceremony : marked by a ceremony

: without real power or influence

ceremonial

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ceremonial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a special ceremony

ceremonial

adjective
cer·​e·​mo·​ni·​al | \ˌser-ə-ˈmō-nē-əl \

Kids Definition of ceremonial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, used in, or being a ceremony ceremonial drums a ceremonial dinner

Other Words from ceremonial

ceremonially adverb

ceremonial

noun

Kids Definition of ceremonial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a special ceremony

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