ded·​i·​ca·​tion | \ ˌde-di-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce dedication (audio) \

Definition of dedication

1 religion : an act or rite of dedicating (see dedicate entry 2 sense 1) to a divine being or to a sacred use the dedication of the temple
2 : a devoting or setting aside for a particular purpose the dedication of funds raised from the bake sale to the class trip
3 : a name and often a message prefixed to a literary, musical, or artistic production in tribute to a person or cause mentioned his family in a brief dedication in his novel
4 : self-sacrificing devotion and loyalty her dedication to the cause required hard work and dedication
5 : a ceremony to mark the official completion or opening of something (such as a building) attended the building's dedication nearly fifty years ago

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Other Words from dedication

dedicatory \ ˈde-​di-​kə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce dedicatory (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

The word dedication first appears in the 14th century as a name for the solemn act of dedicating something, such as a calendar day or a church, to a divine being or to a sacred use. The word—formed from the Latin past participle of dedicare, meaning "to dedicate"—did not take hold in secular contexts until a few centuries later when English speakers began using it to refer to the act of devoting time and energy to a particular purpose. One of the earliest writers to do so is William Shakespeare. "His life I gave him, and did thereto ad / My love without retention or restraint, / All his in dedication….," proclaims his character Antonio in Twelfth Night. Dedication has also come to describe the quality of being loyal or devoted to a cause, ideal, or purpose. Nowadays, people are commonly spoken of as having a dedication to his or her family or work.

Examples of dedication in a Sentence

It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but we managed to finish the project on time. the dedication of the temple They celebrated the dedication of the new building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
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Recent Examples on the Web By the numbers: How much wealthier HamCo residents are than average Hoosier The district sent statements to the parents of special needs students stressing the district's dedication to respect and inclusion and later removed Booth from his role. Mj Slaby, Indianapolis Star, "After removing director over offensive meme, Noblesville has new special education leaders," 8 Jan. 2020 Aden’s dedication to her religion and culture is a source of inspiration. Nandi Howard, Essence, "The Best Looks From Our January/February Cover Star Halima Aden," 7 Jan. 2020 Leonard Elementary dedication Katy Independent School District will dedicate Leonard Elementary, 2602 Winchester Ranch Trail, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events for the week beginning Dec. 30," 29 Dec. 2019 Among them is the now famous dedication to service made by then-Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday in 1947. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "For the Royal Family, the 2010s Were a Decade of Seismic Change," 14 Dec. 2019 His positivity and dedication are admirable, and his smile is contagious. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "What Happened to Ray Lewis on 'Dancing With the Stars?'," 1 Oct. 2019 What young people everywhere share is a common hope for the future, outrage with injustice, and dedication to progress. Grace Goldstein, Seventeen, "Here's The Real Reason I'm Fighting To Stop Climate Change," 17 Sep. 2019 But the life of America is short: Many of those alive to see the statue’s dedication would have remembered the island’s other history, and thus remembered a different kind of symbol. Rich Cohen, WSJ, "The Hidden History of Liberty Island," 11 July 2019 The award recognizes outstanding volunteers who demonstrate leadership, dedication and a commitment to bettering their communities through volunteerism, according to the Packers website. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A former robotics coach at a private Christian school in New Berlin has been charged with child porn possession," 15 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dedication.' 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 dedication

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dedication

see dedicate entry 1

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Time Traveler for dedication

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

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Statistics for dedication

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dedication.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for dedication


How to pronounce dedication (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dedication

: a feeling of very strong support for or loyalty to someone or something : the quality or state of being dedicated to a person, group, cause, etc.
: a message at the beginning of a book, song, etc., saying that it was written or is being performed in order to honor or express affection for someone
: the act of officially saying that something (such as a new building) was created for a particular purpose (such as worship) or to remember or honor a particular person


ded·​i·​ca·​tion | \ ˌde-di-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce dedication (audio) \

Kids Definition of dedication

1 : an act of setting apart for a special purpose The dedication of the park will take place today.
2 : a message at the beginning of a work of art (as a book or a song) saying that it is written or performed to honor someone
3 : extreme devotion We admire his dedication to the cause.


ded·​i·​ca·​tion | \ ˌde-di-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce dedication (audio) \

Legal Definition of dedication

: a giving up of property to public use that precludes the owner from asserting any further interest in it: as
a : an intentional donation of land for public use that is accepted by the proper public authorities
b : intentional or negligent surrender to the public of intellectual property that could have been protected by copyright or patent

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