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 dedication (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 Josephine Bailey narrates the book in a low, friendly voice, marvelously in tune with the sheep's philosophy of life, their frequent bafflement, occasional bickering and dedication to justice. Katherine A. Powers Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Bookmark: When these animals talk, listen," 15 Jan. 2021 At the time of Carrillo's 2009 retirement, another detective, Philip Guzman, praised his sense of humor, creativity, and dedication. Andrea Park, Marie Claire, "What Happened to Detective Gil Carrillo From 'Night Stalker'?," 14 Jan. 2021 That dedication helped McGuire win three state championships at Cedar Hill. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "On the cusp of his first state title as head coach, Cedar Hill’s Carlos Lynn reflects on the people and challenges that got him here," 13 Jan. 2021 One of the downsides of the careful, conscientious, anxious parenting that has become common in the United States is that our children sometimes get too much of us—not only our time and dedication, but our worry, our concern. Joshua Coleman, The Atlantic, "How American Individualism Fuels Family Estrangement," 10 Jan. 2021 That leaves this house on 74th Street — on which the heavy structural and mechanical work has already been done — to go, perhaps, to a buyer who’d complete it with that same dedication to fastidious historical detail. Christopher Bonanos, Curbed, "Why Hasn’t Anyone Bought This William Lescaze House?," 5 Jan. 2021 Stability does not have to mean boredom; some of life’s greatest gifts come from dedication. Meghan Rose, Glamour, "Aquarius Tarot Horoscopes: January 2021," 1 Jan. 2021 There’s plenty of cuteness too — lots of little kids are involved — and where dance stories often focus on obsession and dysfunction, this leans to dedication and joy. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, "38 Christmas movies and specials to watch on TV this week," 21 Dec. 2020 Davis recalls Boseman's dedication to a different instrument in his day-to-day life after the cameras stopped rolling. Anika Reed, USA TODAY, "Viola Davis opens up about ‘healing’ music Chadwick Boseman played making 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'," 17 Dec. 2020

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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Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dedication.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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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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