fu·​ner·​al | \ ˈfyün-rəl , 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

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 Ariana was among those scheduled to perform during the funeral service for the Queen of Soul and her fiancé came to support her performance. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Pete Davidson Attended Aretha Franklin's Funeral as Ariana Grande's Date and Social Media Was Confused," 31 Aug. 2018 Burial is typically the most expensive option for funeral arrangements. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "6 Things You Should Do Now to Prepare for Your Own Funeral," 30 Aug. 2018 Tobias Menzies, who plays Prince Philip, was also on the Aberfan set in South Wales, filming scenes of a funeral procession. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "New Photos from the Set of The Crown Show Its Commitment to Accuracy," 4 Oct. 2018 The hearse was built to cruise at 14 mph, because that is the traditional speed of a funeral procession. A.j. Baime, WSJ, "The 1939 Hearse That Refuses to Die," 25 Sep. 2018 There will be a prayer service at 2 p.m. The funeral Mass will follow at 3 p.m. in the chapel., "Adrienne Marie Mack SND," 26 June 2018 At Pickett's funeral March 9, Butler led Mandy in the procession to the grave site. Jenna Watson, Indianapolis Star, "Mandy was going to the 'killer barn.' 12 years later, she led Deputy Pickett to his grave.," 29 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Farmers here are praised at their funerals for not missing a day of milking. Jesse Newman And Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Farms, More Productive Than Ever, Are Poisoning Drinking Water in Rural America," 18 Jan. 2019 Bush, who was the longest-living president in U.S. history, will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol today; his funeral will take place on Wednesday at the National Cathedral. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Trump and Xi Jinping reach a temporary trade-war truce," 3 Dec. 2018 Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson considered Shale a friend as well, and went to his funeral—as did Beatrice. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Who Is Princess Beatrice's New Boyfriend, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi?," 20 Nov. 2018 His office sent past comments by Obama criticizing the wall, and the two have not spoken since the inauguration except for a quick exchange at President George H.W. Bush’s funeral. Hope Yen, The Seattle Times, "AP fact check: Trump isn’t holed up nonstop at White House," 14 Jan. 2019 The episode opens with pictures of North Koreans wailing in terror and anguish at Kim’s funeral. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘The Dictator’s Playbook’ Review: Tyranny 101," 10 Jan. 2019 At Karolina’s funeral, the long train of her dress spilled over the side of her casket. Kate Bennis, Good Housekeeping, "These Angel Gowns Bring Comfort to Grieving Families," 26 Dec. 2018 In 2013, New Zealand's then-prime minister, John Key, was photographed by the European Pressphoto Agency joking with his British counterpart at Nelson Mandela's funeral. Nick Perry, Fox News, "Admired abroad, New Zealand leader faces hurdles at home," 24 Sep. 2018 Actually, the next book might have to start at John McCain’s funeral. Eric Johnson, Recode, "‘The NFL is like a drug lord and football is like crack,’ says ‘Big Game’ author Mark Leibovich," 10 Sep. 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

12 Feb 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 , 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 servile follower or underling

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