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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective By Saturday afternoon, his family was making funeral arrangements for him. Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, 7 Nov. 2021 Funeral homes are beyond capacity, and the smog that is so common in cities there is made even worse from the smoke of funeral pyres. Chandrima Das, CNN, 15 May 2021 Rows of funeral pyres set up in parks and other open spaces are being used to cremate the overflow of corpses. NBC News, 4 May 2021 The heart-rending images of funeral pyres set up in public parks, burning an endless line of bodies, is only a glimpse into the tragedy unfolding across the country. Kalpana Jain, STAT, 4 May 2021 Nationwide, death is so omnipresent that burial grounds are running out of space in many cities, and glowing funeral pyres blaze through the night. Time, 3 May 2021 Nationwide, death is so omnipresent that burial grounds are running out of space in many cities, and glowing funeral pyres blaze through the night. Ashok Sharma, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 May 2021 Demand, for instance is up as much as three times for retail customers which includes wholesalers, funeral homes and cemeteries. Shelia Poole, ajc, 23 Oct. 2021 As Idaho struggles with a low vaccination rate and an increasing Covid-19 death toll, some funeral homes are experiencing capacity issues. Aya Elamroussi, CNN, 26 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Myre's funeral has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at Kensington Church in Lake Orion. Jeff Seidel And Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, 2 Dec. 2021 Children are encouraged to wear baseball jerseys to the funeral service for 8-year-old Jackson Sparks, according to his obituary. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Dec. 2021 From left, sisters Malikah, left, and Attallah, center, and Malaak Shabazz, after the funeral service for their mother Betty Shabazz at the Islamic Cutural Center of New York Mosque, Friday June 27, 1997. Caroline Linton, CBS News, 23 Nov. 2021 The funeral service is open to the public and will be held at Red Mountain LDS Institute in Mesa at 10 a.m. Salma Reyes, The Arizona Republic, 20 Nov. 2021 Desai’s three-hour funeral service came two days after a vigil held at the Henry County police headquarters. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii, ajc, 14 Nov. 2021 Symonds-Madison Funeral Home in Elgin will hold a 2 p.m. memorial service and 4 p.m. funeral service with full military honors Saturday, Nov. 13, for U.S. Army veteran Michael R. Pump, who died Oct. 9 at the age of 77. Mike Danahey,, 12 Nov. 2021 Tintor’s funeral is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. PST Thursday at St. Simeon Serbian Orthodox Church in Las Vegas. Mark Inabinett |, al, 10 Nov. 2021 The funeral is scheduled to begin at noon but is not open to the public. USA TODAY, 5 Nov. 2021

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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Time Traveler for funeral

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near funeral



funeral car

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Statistics for funeral

Last Updated

5 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Funeral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2021.

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on funeral

Nglish: Translation of funeral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of funeral for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about funeral


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