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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of funeral in a Sentence

Adjective a slow and heavy funeral song Noun Only family attended the funeral. His funeral will be held on Friday. His cousin made the funeral arrangements.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Sanlam is repackaging its product suite and digitizing channels to sell more of its offerings from funeral cover to investments to existing customers, the CEO said. Roxanne Henderson,, "Africa’s Top Insurer Refocuses on Home Base as Deal Misfires," 23 Oct. 2020 Older voters worried about safely getting to the polls next month while dodging the coronavirus will have a stylish, unconventional transportation option: A free limo ride, courtesy of funeral homeowners in Baltimore and around the country. Ben Leonard,, "Looking for a lift to the polls? Baltimore funeral homes are offering free limo rides to boost voter turnout," 20 Oct. 2020 The virus has changed everything from the ways Christians partake of communion to the ways politicians campaign (except for Trump), from funeral services to travel restrictions. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | DEBRA HALE-SHELTON: A year that needs to get better," 18 Oct. 2020 Family members will announce funeral details later. Kevin Mcgill, Star Tribune, "2-term Louisiana governor Mike Foster dies at 90," 4 Oct. 2020 Seals, 35, was traveling westbound on U.S. 190 as an escort in a funeral procession just after noon on Sept. 25, 2018, when his motorcycle struck a vehicle and he was ejected. Staff Reports,, "Signs on U.S. 190 honor deceased Slidell Police officer," 22 Sep. 2020 Dozens gathered Friday morning at A. Ripepi and Sons Funeral Home in Middleburg Heights for the funeral procession of Det. Hannah Drown, cleveland, "See video, photos from funeral procession for slain Cleveland police detective James Skernivitz," 11 Sep. 2020 Budweiser brought its iconic Clydesdales — and a ghoulish group of pallbearers — to ceremoniously bid goodbye to the last remaining 3.2% beer in that state with a funeral procession through the streets of Salt Lake City. Kathy Stephenson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Budweiser wants to be Utah’s official state beer, suggests can with Delicate Arch and LDS Temple," 17 Aug. 2020 Before the pandemic, the business would usually see about two families a day for funeral arrangements. Silvia Foster-frau,, "‘A part of us died:’ Along the U.S-Mexico border, a coronavirus crisis," 1 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the funeral, union leaders were seen huddling with members of Cuomo’s staff. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "Andrew Cuomo, the King of New York," 12 Oct. 2020 In a public account on Facebook and Twitter, and repeated in a phone interview, Smith said that Milton came onto her at the funeral of their grandfather. David Welch,, "Nikola Founder Milton’s Fall Reveals What His Backers Feared," 28 Sep. 2020 There were 22 new infections reported in Martin County, where health officials are assessing the level of community spread following an outbreak at a funeral. Ryan Faircloth, Star Tribune, "175 COVID-19 cases linked to University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus in September," 26 Sep. 2020 Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. Attendance at the funeral will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions and face masks and social distancing is required. Katy Reckdahl,, "'Junior' Robertson, longtime bar owner and a Treme icon, dies at 91," 4 Sep. 2020 Kenny Alexander accompanied Clay while wearing a respirator, a visible sign of the danger faced simply by playing an organ at a funeral. National Geographic, "‘I put my camera to my face and cried.’ Documenting a COVID-19 hot spot," 1 Sep. 2020 And at the funeral, the Queen took an additional step to pay tribute. Breeanna Hare, CNN, "How Diana became known as 'the people's princess'," 31 Aug. 2020 Sharpton first announced the march at the funeral of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died on Memorial Day when a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. USA TODAY, "'We have all had a knee on our neck': Activists to call for police reform, voting rights at March on Washington," 28 Aug. 2020 His surprise comments came during his eulogy at the funeral of the late civil rights leader and Georgia Rep. John Lewis. Julie Pace,, "Barack Obama, in scathing Trump rebuke, warns democracy on the line," 19 Aug. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about funeral

Time Traveler for funeral

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for funeral

Last Updated

29 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Funeral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!