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

She was known for her dedication to improving processes within the judicial system through innovation, and for her work in this area the NYU School of Law Civil Jury Project honored her as Most Innovative Jurist of the Year nationally in 2018., "Deaths in South Florida: 7/9," 9 July 2019 Becic's top 10 list includes Fox 26 reporter Ivory Hecker, who ranked high for her dedication to a regular workout routine and healthy eating. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "'Fitness Czar' of Houston ranks 10 fittest TV news personalities in the Bayou City," 3 July 2019 Committee leaders, Scouting officials, family members and former Scouts took turns praising and teasing McCutchen for his dedication, generosity of time, money and sleeping bags, and hourslong post-meeting parking-lot chats. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "After 25 years and 2,100 Boy Scouts, popular North County scoutmaster steps down," 2 July 2019 La Cañada Mayor Len Pieroni formally recognized the local residents in a brief ceremony Tuesday, thanking them for their dedication to the city. Sara Cardine,, "La Cañada Council recognizes outgoing commissioners for helping city run smoothly," 21 June 2019 Stunt doubles often fly under the radar in action films, and they don't always get recognized for their dedication. Glamour, "Brie Larson Brought Her Captain Marvel Stunt Doubles Onstage During the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards," 18 June 2019 Textor is remembered for her dedication to Safer and work that helped keep the legendary correspondent on the air until a few weeks before his death. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, "'60 Minutes' Producer Katherine Textor Dies at 45," 15 June 2019 At that meeting, Solon’s Jared Miller was honored for his dedication while serving as president of the school’s Board of Directors the past three years., "North Union Farmers Market returns to Legacy Village; new board president at Mandel JDS; more: Press Run," 7 June 2019 He is known around Brussels for his dedication to his morning workout at the swimming pool and for his command of the brief, in particular an affection for PowerPoint presentations. Michał Matlak, The New York Review of Books, "‘Nostalgia Serves No Purpose’: An Interview with Michel Barnier," 29 May 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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Statistics for dedication

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for dedication

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 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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