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

No one should expect otherwise, but the dedication of high-level government bureaucrats is not the issue. George Melloan, WSJ, "‘The Fifth Risk’ Review: Managing the Unmanageable," 1 Oct. 2018 A few weeks later, on a rainy morning in Washington, Heritage held a party for the dedication of a new dormitory for its interns, a gift from the family of E.W. Richardson, a World War II bomber pilot who went on to become a successful Ford dealer. Jonathan Mahler, New York Times, "How One Conservative Think Tank Is Stocking Trump’s Government," 20 June 2018 Her jewelry is simple: a delicate cross celebrating her cultural background and her family’s dedication to church. Fawnia Soo Hoo, Glamour, "The Costumes in Widows Mirror Each Woman’s Journey," 15 Nov. 2018 On policy, Cruz has defended his record against gun control, dedication to repealing Obamacare, and stance against giving young unauthorized immigrants a path to citizenship. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Texas Senate election results: Beto O’Rourke vs. Ted Cruz," 7 Nov. 2018 The fact that Doria was welcomed along at the celebration is a testament to her role in the royal family and the royals' dedication to making Meghan feel as comfortable as possible as a new member of the Windsor clan. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Mom, Doria Ragland, Is Becoming an Important Part of the Royal Family Behind-the-Scenes," 22 Sep. 2018 The classmates' letter about Kavanaugh recounted his professional credentials, and dedication to others outside of work. Chris Cole, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill vouches for SCOTUS pick, drawing backlash from some fans," 9 July 2018 His candidacy drew widespread attention across Afghanistan and was celebrated as a sign of the minority group’s resilience and dedication to the country despite the harsh times. New York Times, "Sikhs and Hindus Bear Brunt of Latest Afghanistan Suicide Attack," 1 July 2018 Post Oak Grill has been a superior destination for fine dining with subtle flavors and delicious menus due to Chef Polo Becerra's imagination and dedication to excellence. Houston Chronicle, "Post Oak Grill," 27 June 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

13 Dec 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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