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

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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

One of the teachers, Phillip Leslie, heard about the girls' criticisms of his former employer and later posted a video of the graduation ceremony online. John Wisely, Detroit Free Press, "Graduation gone bad: Salutatorians rip their Detroit charter school," 10 June 2019 Pratt's close friend and former Parks and Recreation castmate Rob Lowe was also on the intimate guest list, and shared some photos of his wife and sons at the ceremony. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "Chris Pratt & Katherine Schwarzenegger Tie The Knot At Intimate California Wedding," 10 June 2019 At the end of the ceremony, a small bouquet — red carnations, yellow and white daisies — was given to each firefighter. Gal Tziperman Lotan, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston firefighters gather to remember their fallen," 9 June 2019 Two days of ceremonies commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings of 1944. The Economist, "Politics this week," 8 June 2019 Tom Dixon’s Brew coffee set is an ode to the art of the modern-day coffee ceremony. David Syrek, chicagotribune.com, "Wedding season: Going off-registry with your gift," 7 June 2019 As part of the ceremony, Supreme Court Justice and Pritzker juror Stephen Breyer, speaking French, delivered a missive in honor of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, which recently suffered extensive damage in a fire. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Arata Isozaki's Kyoto Concert Hall shows L.A. what might have been at MOCA," 7 June 2019 The president and first lady were to participate in commemorative events in Portsmouth, England on Wednesday, the first of two days of ceremonies. CBS News, "Trump joins world leaders to mark 75th D-Day anniversary — live updates," 5 June 2019 The arrival of President Trump, his family and his entourage to London on Monday meant a full day of ceremony and toasts topped by a magnificent banquet at Buckingham Palace. Fox News, "President Trump, Queen Elizabeth attend state banquet at Buckingham Palace," 5 June 2019

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

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ceremony

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

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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.

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Comments on ceremony

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