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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The civil ceremony will be the couple's official wedding date. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Double weddings doesn’t mean double gifts," 12 July 2020 Another nurse provided cupcakes for after the ceremony. Claire Goodman, Houston Chronicle, "COVID-19 nurse ties the knot in hospital wedding," 11 July 2020 According the Navy, the ceremony will be held July 31. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, "Navy announces first Black female Tactical Aircraft pilot," 11 July 2020 After the private ceremony, the newlyweds headed to Miami for a three-day honeymoon in Miami. Paulina Jayne Isaac, Glamour, "Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Relationship: A Complete Timeline," 11 July 2020 The civil ceremony will be the couple’s official wedding date. cleveland, "Dear Annie: What is proper etiquette for gifts with split wedding ceremonies," 11 July 2020 Roughly 500 of the 615 students in the class attended the ceremony. Mj Slaby, The Indianapolis Star, "'Right thing to do': Center Grove celebrates class of 2020 with in-person graduation," 11 July 2020 The idea is to invite some people to the ceremony and others to the reception. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "Spread love not germs: Sanitizer favors, disjointed seating and more planned for 2020 weddings," 10 July 2020 It was announced in March that the ceremony would be postponed due to the pandemic. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Rock Hall of Fame replacing live induction ceremony with HBO special," 8 July 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ceremony

Time Traveler for ceremony

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for ceremony

Last Updated

26 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ceremony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceremony. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ceremony


How to pronounce ceremony (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ceremony

What made you want to look up ceremony? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!