fu·​ner·​al | \ ˈfyün-rəl How to pronounce funeral (audio) , ˈfyü-nə-\

Definition of funeral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or constituting a funeral



Definition of funeral (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the observances held for a dead person usually before burial or cremation
2 chiefly dialectal : a funeral sermon
3 : a funeral procession
4 : an end of something's existence
5 : a matter of concern to one : worry if you flunk, it's your funeral

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Examples of funeral in a Sentence


a slow and heavy funeral song


Only family attended the funeral. His funeral will be held on Friday. His cousin made the funeral arrangements.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

If that’s not Meg Ryan enough for you, this obsession obviously leads to a funeral meet-cute, where Harold is introduced to someone who also shares his fascination: A 79-year-old woman named Maude. Danny Murphy, Marie Claire, "Recasted: Who Would Star in a Reboot of Harold and Maude?," 12 Feb. 2019 Saturday morning, July 14, 10am there will be a funeral procession leaving Swan's in Clinton and will end at The Congregational Church in Killingworth, 273 Route 81, where the funeral litergy will be at 11am., "Richard Walter Albrecht," 13 July 2018 The film, which was shot in Brownsville, New York, opens with a haunting funeral scene. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Pyer Moss Partners With Director X on a Moving New Film Project," 12 Apr. 2019 One worker in Natick, Mass., likened the multiweek going-out-of-business sale to attending a funeral daily. Chip Cutter, WSJ, "For Sears Workers, a Chaotic, Heartbreaking Last Christmas," 23 Dec. 2018 Burial and funeral instructions: Should be left separately from a will. Patrick W. Schmitt, Country Living, "Everything Baby Boomers Need to Know About Estate Planning," 17 Aug. 2018 Getty Images Honestly, choosing a funeral brooch for meeting with Trump is such a MOOD. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Did the Queen's Brooch During Trump's Visit Throw Shade at the President?," 17 July 2018 Family and friends may call TODAY from 4-7 p.m. at the funeral chapel. Hartford Courant,, "Santina Amenta," 6 July 2018 When Alfredo, a carpenter, accuses Achille of sabotaging his work, Achille and his cronies pluck the man from his pew during a funeral mass. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "My Brilliant Friend Producer Breaks Down the Violence of Episode 1," 19 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Colman and Bonham Carter also bear a striking resemblance to their real-life counterparts, pictured here with Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in 1968 on the way to the funeral of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. Temi Adebowale, Harper's BAZAAR, "How the First Images From the Set of The Crown Mimic Real-Life Royal History," 18 Sep. 2018 The funeral is to take place at 10 a.m. Thursday at Wujek-Calcaterra. Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press, "After 71 years together, death has separated a Macomb Township couple," 4 June 2018 The Bergling family has now confirmed that the funeral will be private, in the presence of the people who were closest to Tim. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Avicii's Family Announces That His Funeral Will Be Private," 22 May 2018 As monarch, the Queen will be given a state funeral, which is expected to take place 12 days after her death. Katie Frost, Town & Country, "What Will Happen When Queen Elizabeth II Dies?," 25 Mar. 2019 The infamous song has been played at several funerals, including, President JFK, Princess Diana, and Elvis Presley's. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "20 Best Irish Songs to Help You Celebrate St. Patrick's Day," 13 Feb. 2019 Then the chaos ended with a funeral, and the quiet proved far worse. Claire Galofaro, The Seattle Times, "Moms of the dead from drugs: “Where is the outrage for us?”," 29 Jan. 2019 Aretha's publicist confirmed to CNN that Ariana will take part in the funeral, which will take place in Detroit on Friday, August 31, after a week-long period of public viewing at the city's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Devon Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Will Perform at Aretha Franklin's Funeral," 29 Aug. 2018 Resham’s funeral, which followed Hindu customs, was attended by nearly 400 people. Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, "A Nepali immigrant brought his daughter to America for a better life. Then his own was taken.," 11 July 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for funeral


Middle English, from Late Latin funeralis, from Latin funer-, funus funeral (noun)


Middle English funerelles (plural), from Middle French funerailles (plural), from Medieval Latin funeralia (plural), from Late Latin, neuter plural of funeralis, adjective

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Statistics for funeral

Last Updated

21 May 2019

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Time Traveler for funeral

The first known use of funeral was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for funeral



English Language Learners Definition of funeral

: a ceremony held for a dead person


fu·​ner·​al | \ ˈfyü-nə-rəl How to pronounce funeral (audio) , ˈfyün-rəl\

Kids Definition of funeral

: the ceremonies held for a dead person (as before burial)

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Comments on funeral

What made you want to look up funeral? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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