ded·i·ca·tion | \ˌde-di-ˈkā-shən \

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 \ 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

This man is and always will be an example or sheer willpower and dedication., "Michael Jackson was 'chemically castrated' by his late dad, says singer's ex doctor," 12 July 2018 The home dedications, in honor of two of the sorority’s former international presidents, kicked off the sorority’s biennial conference being hosted in Houston July 6-12 at the George R. Brown Convention Center and several city hotels. Elizabeth Myong, Houston Chronicle, "AKA sorority sisters serve the Houston community," 7 July 2018 That dedication has continued 10 years later with 21 volunteers working from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Courant Community, "Community News For The East Hartford Edition," 26 June 2018 But on Thursday, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez seemed to suggest that the dedication rang hollow. Lisa W. Foderaro, New York Times, "Ocasio-Cortez Confronts Crowley Over His ‘Third-Party Challenge’," 12 July 2018 This man is and always will be an example or sheer willpower and dedication., "Michael Jackson was 'chemically castrated' by his late dad, says singer's ex doctor," 12 July 2018 Schuster, wearing virtual reality glasses and waving the Tilt Brush in the air, wrote personal dedications for each winner - the autographs could be seen on screen. Judy Cantor-navas, Billboard, "Chilean Firm Ushers In Virtual Record Signings, With Help of Google's Tilt Brush," 12 July 2018 This man is and always will be an example or sheer willpower and dedication. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Michael Jackson Was 'Chemically Castrated' by Late Father Joe, Claims Dr. Conrad Murray: Report," 11 July 2018 After the dedication program, Northwest’s first Boeing Stratocruiser airliner is christened. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "A station could be making firefighters sick, Sue Bird makes history and more rescues from the Thai cave | Monday Morning Brief, July 9," 9 July 2018

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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Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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

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More Definitions for dedication



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 \

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 \

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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