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

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 Until now, Erdogan has been a ceremonial head of state, exerting his will on Turkey through force of personality rather than constitutional right. Iliana Magra, BostonGlobe.com, "Stakes high in Turkish election, for Erdogan and the country," 23 June 2018 These kinds of events are part of the spine of the ceremonial head of state role performed by the president. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Going to Lose His War on Football," 5 June 2018 Moon and North Korea's 90-year-old ceremonial head of state will jointly attend the unified Korean women's ice hockey team's first match later Saturday evening with Pence. Houston Chronicle, "The Latest: Germany's Andreas Wellinger withstands cold to win Olympic gold," 10 Feb. 2018 Pence and his wife, Karen, had no interaction with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam, according to USA Today. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Mike Pence doesn't stand when Korean athletes enter for Olympics opening ceremony," 9 Feb. 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

18 Mar 2019

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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 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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