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 Liz Claiborne Inc. chief executive officer William McComb and Liz Claiborne New York creative director Isaac Mizrahi rang the closing bell [of the New York Stock Exchange], a daily ceremony they followed with the first-ever fashion show on the trading floor.— Marc Karimzadeh
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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The ceremony in the White House East Room felt more like a homecoming, with the crowd welcoming Barack and Michelle with a standing ovation upon their arrival. Malaika Jabali, Essence, 8 Sep. 2022 Prince Harry, who was due to appear at a charity awards ceremony in London later Thursday, canceled that appearance and was making his way to Scotland separately. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2022 Giudice tied the knot with Ruelas, 47, in August during a black tie ceremony in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 8 Sep. 2022 They are honored at a ceremony in Kyoto every year. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Sep. 2022 The paintings were revealed during a ceremony in the East Room hosted by President Biden, who was Mr. Obama’s vice president, and first lady Jill Biden. Catherine Lucey, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2022 Ohio State honored its 2002 national championship during a quick ceremony in the first half with former coach Jim Tressel and dozens of former players, including Maurice Clarett. Ralph D. Russo, Chicago Tribune, 3 Sep. 2022 The Virginia Country Music Association tends to his grave and hosts a wreath-laying ceremony in Hay's honor at the site each year. Fox News, 2 Sep. 2022 Alwyn did not join Swift at the MTV VMAs ceremony in Newark, New Jersey, itself. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 29 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for ceremony

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

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Dictionary Entries Near ceremony



Cerenkov radiation

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ceremony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ceremony. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for ceremony


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on ceremony

Nglish: Translation of ceremony for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ceremony for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ceremony


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