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

Marine Band San Diego was already playing, delighting enthusiastic guests before the ceremonial presentation of the colors. Vincent Andrunas, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Serving those who serve," 5 June 2019 Visually, The Handmaid’s Tale is as striking as ever, maintaining the chilling beauty of Gilead’s optics—the curated flecks of handmaid-red on stark white snow, and the strange symmetry of ceremonial events. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Empty Empowerment of The Handmaid’s Tale," 5 June 2019 After a brief rest at Winfield House, the U.S. ambassador's official residence in London, the Trumps will head to nearby Buckingham Palace for a ceremonial welcoming and then have lunch with Queen Elizabeth II. CBS News, "President Trump in U.K. for 1st state visit, lunch with the queen," 3 June 2019 The most expensive is a replica of Princess Leia’s ceremonial necklace, seen in Star Wars: A New Hope, for $2,000. Valerie Marino, Condé Nast Traveler, "Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Will Please Even The Most Hardcore Fans," 29 May 2019 Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will be in attendance for the official ceremonial welcome, held in Buckingham Palace’s garden. The Editors, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Has Bowed Out of Meeting Donald Trump," 28 May 2019 Moon and Kim and their wives shook the hands of North Korean and South Korean officials before they were saluted by a North Korean ceremonial guard. Fox News, "The Latest: Kim says summit with Trump stabilized region," 18 Sep. 2018 Navy divers and explosive ordnance disposal teams, medical personnel and the U.S. Navy ceremonial guard also will be on hand, as will the Navy’s new virtual reality simulator. Cathy Locke, sacbee, "Sacramento among 14 cities selected to host 2018 Navy Week | The Sacramento Bee," 8 Feb. 2018 The Federal Flag Code says that unserviceable flags should be burned in a respectful, ceremonial manner, but do so discreetly so people don't misinterpret your intentions. Rebecca Deczynski, Good Housekeeping, "The Proper Etiquette for Flying the American Flag, Including on Memorial Day," 10 May 2019

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

10 Jun 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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