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

The couple married in 2016, and several of their Pitch Perfect family members attended the ceremony. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, "27 Celebrities Who Dated Their Co-Stars IRL," 7 Dec. 2018 In return for support, the government wants oligarchs to split the tab. Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, center, attended a ceremony at the French embassy in Moscow this month. Anatoly Kurmanaev, WSJ, "U.S. Sanctions Bring Kremlin, Russian Oligarchs Closer Together," 29 Nov. 2018 All other awardees—Senator Orrin Hatch, football players Alan Page and Roger Staubach, and Miriam Adelson—attended the ceremony in person. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Elvis and Babe Ruth Among Trump's Honorees for the 2018 Presidential Medal of Freedom," 16 Nov. 2018 At 2018’s ceremony, Netflix won big in the limited series categories. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "Netflix finally beats HBO in Primetime Emmy wins at this year’s awards," 18 Sep. 2018 On Friday evening, Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld hosted the rehearsal dinner at their idyllic home in East Hampton, then the couple’s ceremony was held on Saturday at Paltrow’s house nearby. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "A First Look at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Wedding Dress," 2 Nov. 2018 The ceremony will be held in at St. George's Chapel—the same place Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had their wedding. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Queen Elizabeth's Wedding Gift to Princess Eugenie," 6 Oct. 2018 When This Is Us heartthrob Justin Hartley married actress Chrishell Stause on October 28, 2017, the ceremony was held at Malibu's Calamigos Ranch on the fourth anniversary of their first date. Samantha Drake, Country Living, "How 'This is Us' Star Justin Hartley Found Love With Wife Chrishell Stause Following His Divorce," 16 Sep. 2018 Both ceremonies will be held at the Costa Azzurra Restaurant in Milford. courant.com, "Regional Digest: USA Softball Of Connecticut Announces Hall Of Fame Class," 9 July 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

12 Dec 2018

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 \
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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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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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