cer·​e·​mo·​ny | \ ˈser-ə-ˌmō-nē, 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

At tonight’s ceremony, the carpet was mostly back to business as usual, though some of Hollywood’s leading stars still chose to spotlight the movement, this time in a much subtler way. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "How Hollywood Spotlit #TimesUp at This Year’s Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 Getty ImagesRich Polk Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth confirmed that they got married this month, and the casual, romantic ceremony pics that the two actors shared broke the Internet. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Are Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth on Their Honeymoon Right Now?," 2 Jan. 2019 Despite the secrecy surrounding their martial status, a wedding ceremony is still planned. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Reportedly Got Matching Tattoos," 2 Jan. 2019 Whether the 2019 ceremony will follow suit is hard to say. Vox, "Golden Globes 2019: winners, nominations, and biggest moments," 6 Dec. 2018 The star will be lit during the Rockefeller Christmas lightening ceremony on November 28. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "How Architect Daniel Libeskind Redesigned the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Star," 15 Nov. 2018 As People notes, the ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Prince William, Kate, Prince Harry and Meghan gather for Prince Louis' christening," 2 Oct. 2018 Producer and director Glenn Weiss arrived at Monday night's 2018 Emmys with a few statuettes already under his belt and ended the ceremony with one more Emmy and a brand-new fiancée. Andrea Park, Allure, "Director Glenn Weiss Proposed to His Girlfriend During His 2018 Emmy Awards Acceptance Speech," 17 Sep. 2018 At this morning's ceremony, the Hollywood Foreign Press announced that there will be a special achievement award for television this year. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "Here's the Full List of Nominees for the 2019 Golden Globe Awards," 6 Dec. 2018

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

10 Jan 2019

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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 \
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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involving abstract or general statements

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