cer·​e·​mo·​ny | \ ˈser-ə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce ceremony (audio) , ˈse-rə-\
plural ceremonies

Definition of ceremony

1 : a formal act or series of acts prescribed by ritual, protocol, or convention the marriage ceremony
2a : a conventional act of politeness or etiquette the ceremony of introduction
b : an action performed only formally with no deep significance the custom had probably been long a mere ceremony— C. Thirlwall
c : a routine action performed with elaborate pomp the weekly ceremony of giving out the wages to the help
3a : prescribed procedures : usages the ceremony attending an inauguration
b : observance of an established code of civility or politeness opened the door without ceremony and strode in

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Examples of ceremony in a Sentence

There will be a ceremony honoring the town's veterans next week. With great ceremony, the children presented each of the visitors with a gift. He told them abruptly and without ceremony that they would have to leave.
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Recent Examples on the Web

McNair’s widow, Mechelle, and their two sons attended the halftime ceremony along with McNair’s mother and brothers. BostonGlobe.com, "Game Day Grind Compilation | Justin Reid and Jahleel Addae," 16 Sep. 2019 While there were 175 AP Scholars recognized by the College Board, only about 25 of those were available to attend the awards ceremony because the majority of scholars have graduated and are attending college. Lisa Cisneros, chicagotribune.com, "Leyden students receive AP, Special Olympics awards," 16 Sep. 2019 Hargrave’s volleyball game, which was going on at that same time, kept some players and coaches from attending the ceremony. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "Hargrave softball receives championship rings during ceremony at halftime of homecoming game," 15 Sep. 2019 Barkley told reporters attending the unveiling ceremony. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Philadelphia 76ers unveil statue of Charles Barkley," 13 Sep. 2019 Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness, county commissioners and city councilors from Fishers and Noblesville attended the ceremony. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Construction on an important Hamilton County route is about to cause serious headaches," 10 Sep. 2019 Grant wanted Swinney to attend the ceremony, but Swinney was out recruiting and unable to make it. Tim Rohan, SI.com, "Faith, Football and the Fervent Religious Culture at Dabo Swinney's Clemson," 4 Sep. 2019 About 100 people attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony. USA TODAY, "Space dummy, Bigfoot denial, pumped-up pumpkin: News from around our 50 states," 2 Sep. 2019 The couple had several members of the royal family attend the ceremony, including Princess Eugenie. Vanna Quiroz, CBS News, "Ellie Goulding marries longtime boyfriend Caspar Jopling," 31 Aug. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ceremony

Middle English ceremonie, from Middle French ceremonie, from Latin caerimonia

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Statistics for ceremony

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ceremony

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

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More Definitions for ceremony



English Language Learners Definition of ceremony

: a formal act or event that is a part of a social or religious occasion
: very polite or formal behavior


cer·​e·​mo·​ny | \ ˈser-ə-ˌmō-nē How to pronounce ceremony (audio) \
plural ceremonies 1

Kids Definition of ceremony

: an act or series of acts performed in some regular way according to fixed rules especially as part of a social or religious event the marriage ceremony
2 : very polite behavior : formality “Who are you?” the lady demanded without ceremony.

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