cer·​e·​mo·​ni·​ous ˌser-ə-ˈmō-nē-əs How to pronounce ceremonious (audio)
: devoted to forms and ceremony
ceremonious courtiers
: of, relating to, or constituting a ceremony
a ceremonious occasion
: according to formal usage or prescribed procedures
the cold and ceremonious politeness of her curtsey Jane Austen
: marked by ceremony
a ceremonious procession
ceremoniously adverb
ceremoniousness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for ceremonious

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

Example Sentences

She read the announcement in a very ceremonious way. a century ago everyday life was much more ceremonious than in our anything-goes era
Recent Examples on the Web Then, this ‘other’ turkey made an equally ceremonious but undramatic presentation to the table. Emily Heil, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2022 By the end of the day on Saturday, Dobrik — who also did a ceremonious ribbon cutting outside the restaurant — posted a thank you to fans on his Instagram story. Morgan Sung, NBC News, 14 Nov. 2022 Political dignitaries and Novelis representatives gathered at the South Baldwin Mega Site home for the future manufacturing site for a ceremonious groundbreaking on Friday. al, 7 Oct. 2022 Below, a nostalgic look back at pictures from their university days—from William’s studious portraits to Kate in her ceremonious graduation robe. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 25 Aug. 2022 The ceremonious confection has, after all, been a tradition for millennia: its roots trace back to ancient Rome, where grooms would break a barley cake over their bride’s head to officialize their union. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 25 July 2022 Obviously, this is a heroic moment for Kanye, and a ceremonious moment of closure for Kim, who, at one point, picks up the computer’s mouse and then sets it back down. Vogue, 29 Apr. 2022 An elegant, ceremonious man, Karzai urged green tea on me and spoke about poetry. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2022 For the first time since the world has come to known COVID-19, water leaped from the mouths of four bronze sea horses, and the people clapped and danced as Mayor Lori Lightfoot exchanged fist bumps in front of the ceremonious display. Paige Fry, chicagotribune.com, 22 May 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ceremonious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ceremonious was in 1553

Dictionary Entries Near ceremonious

Cite this Entry

“Ceremonious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceremonious. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



cer·​e·​mo·​ni·​ous ˌser-ə-ˈmō-nē-əs How to pronounce ceremonious (audio)
: careful to observe forms and ceremony : formal
ceremoniously adverb
ceremoniousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ceremonious

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