ceremonial

adjective
cer·​e·​mo·​ni·​al | \ ˌser-ə-ˈmō-nē-əl How to pronounce ceremonial (audio) , 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 \ ˌser-​ə-​ˈmō-​nē-​ə-​ˌli-​zəm How to pronounce ceremonialism (audio) , ˌse-​rə-​ \ noun
ceremonialist \ ˌser-​ə-​ˈmō-​nē-​ə-​list How to pronounce ceremonialist (audio) , ˌse-​rə-​ \ noun
ceremonially \ ˌser-​ə-​ˈmō-​nē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce ceremonially (audio) , ˌse-​rə-​ \ 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

Other memorials, including a ceremonial balloon release and a tribute at her high school, have already taken place. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "A Small Town in South Carolina Mourns the Prom Night Death of Trinity Harrison," 11 Apr. 2019 It’s hard to make these ceremonial looks when the time is so limited. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Will 2020 Be the Year the Bridal Market Finally Gets Modern?," 9 Apr. 2019 The election was the first to be held since Turkish voters narrowly approved a referendum last year to give the president — once a largely ceremonial role — sweeping executive powers. New York Times, "Erdogan’s Victory in Turkey Election Expands His Powers," 24 June 2018 Under Iraq’s cumbersome process, the country’s current President Fouad Massoum — a Kurd who holds a largely ceremonial job — needs to convene parliament within 15 days, which then elects the new president within a month. Vivienne Walt, Time, "Firebrand Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr Could Emerge as Kingmaker in Iraq's Lackluster Elections," 14 May 2018 Bertie made a seemingly miraculous recovery a few weeks later, prompting Victoria to undertake a public thanksgiving service—her first official state ceremonial appearance in ten years. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How Did Queen Victoria's Husband Prince Albert Die?," 4 Mar. 2019 The Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection holds items going back almost 500 years relating to members of the Royal Family and their court or ceremonial life on the British Isles. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Inside the Archive That Houses 500 Years of Royal Family Fashion," 17 Feb. 2019 The Beefeaters, the beloved ceremonial guards that keep watch over the Crown Jewels, are continuing to protest over their pensions. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Beefeaters Continue to Strike at the Tower of London," 22 Jan. 2019 Some students had interests that meshed with local events, like Ezra Engeberg, who mushes his own team of dogs and wrote about the Iditarod ceremonial start in Anchorage. Erin Kirkland, Anchorage Daily News, "From Halibut Cove to neighborhood parks, here’s a guidebook written by kids," 26 June 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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Statistics for ceremonial

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce ceremonial (audio) \

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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Comments on ceremonial

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