cremation

noun

cre·​ma·​tion kri-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce cremation (audio)
plural cremations
1
a
: the process of reducing a dead body to mostly tiny bits of bone resembling ash that involves exposing the body to flame and intense heat followed by pulverization of bone fragments
And while I do not conceive of an afterlife, I do conceive a strange, attenuated, out-of-the-body experience in which I'm somehow tenuously present at my burial or cremation.Rosemary Dinnage
… funeral directors say family traditions are changing, leading to an increase in cremation rates.Matthew Waite
This week the Vatican issued a directive not to scatter the ashes of loved ones after cremation, and instructed followers to only store them in places approved by the Church.Mandy Johnston
b
: alkaline hydrolysis
usually used following an adjective or an attributive noun
The reason why flameless cremation or cremation using alkaline hydrolysis is better is that it releases 50 kgs of carbon. If you opt for the traditional method of cremation, close to 250 kgs of carbon is released at one time.Vishal Sharma
In a water cremation, human remains are placed within a chamber filled with about 70 to 90 gallons of water, into which bases like sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are added.Bennet Goldstein
2
: the remains of the cremation process
In Besik Bay, the sandy cove facing the island of Tenedos in the Aegean, a cemetery was found where a variety of foreign peoples were buried … . Included were cremations from the thirteenth century B.C.Caroline Alexander

Examples of cremation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Blinded by grief, exhausted and overwhelmed, the bereaved must also plan and pay for cremation or funeral costs. Caitlin Kelly, New York Times, 27 Apr. 2024 Stewie had not been cremated when Balog picked him up, although Nuñez had asserted that the cremation had been performed. Caroline Petrow-Cohen, Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2024 The one-hour service was followed by a private cremation. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 12 Mar. 2024 The earliest evidence of cremation dates back to 40,000 years ago in Australia. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 27 Feb. 2024 By year’s end, only three cremations had occurred out of 597,357 deaths in the UK, but those numbers soon began multiplying. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Mar. 2024 In the aftermath of his death, family members created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for Kaidan’s cremation, funeral service, and headstone. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 27 Feb. 2024 Traditional embalming, cremation and burials have a large environmental footprint — the carbon dioxide emitted from one cremation is equivalent to a nearly 500-mile car ride. Sophia Liang, The Courier-Journal, 23 Feb. 2024 This process is often referred to as water cremation and is understood to be a greener form of disposition. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 23 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cremation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Latin cremātiōn-, cremātiō "a burning," from cremāre "to destroy by fire, burn as an offering to a god, cremate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

First Known Use

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of cremation was in 1658

Dictionary Entries Near cremation

Cite this Entry

“Cremation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cremation. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

cremation

noun
cre·​ma·​tion kri-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce cremation (audio)
1
a
: the process of reducing a dead body to mostly tiny bits of bone resembling ash that involves exposing the body to flame and intense heat followed by pulverization of bone fragments
b
: alkaline hydrolysis
usually used following an adjective or noun
The reason why flameless cremation or cremation using alkaline hydrolysis is better; is that it releases 50 kgs of carbon. If you opt for the traditional method of cremation, close to 250 kgs of carbon is released at one time.Vishal Sharma
In a water cremation, human remains are placed within a chamber filled with about 70 to 90 gallons of water, into which bases like sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are added.Bennet Goldstein
2
: the remains of the cremation process

More from Merriam-Webster on cremation

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