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

But there were heartfelt-seeming expressions of goodwill and good wishes for Harry, vividly remembered by many Britons as the stoic, red-haired child walking in Diana's funeral cortege after her shocking 1997 death in a Paris car crash. Laura King,, "Pomp and pageantry, a few days early: In Windsor, royal regalia goes through its paces," 17 May 2018 Last year the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund bought one of Spain’s largest funeral businesses from 3i Group, a British private-equity firm, for £117m, and increased its stake in a French equivalent. The Economist, "Why undertakers are worried," 12 Apr. 2018 Thousands of people offered funeral prayers for the slain civilians amid anti-India slogans. Fox News, "Mourners honor 3 killed in anti-India protest in Kashmir," 7 July 2018 At the funeral scene, for instance, Connolly makes an homage to The Godfather — a priest speaks at the graveside while men in dark suits nod and whisper and secretly plot to kill a rival boss. Gary Thompson,, "'Gotti': John Travolta's new one will remind you of other, better mob movies," 14 June 2018 O’Neil Swanson III, 57, of West Bloomfield is accused of offering prepaid funeral contracts that he was not legally licensed to offer, according to a news release by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Owner of Michigan funeral home with rotting bodies faces felony counts," 11 June 2018 At her funeral June 12, dozens of backpacks filled with school supplies lined the pews. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Georgia teacher’s request for funeral: Backpacks with school supplies," 25 June 2018 Bensalem, Pa, The funeral mass will follow at 11 a.m. Saturday at the church. Joseph A. Gambardello,, "Former Philadelphia Fire Commissioner William Richmond dies," 27 June 2018 According to the Kansas City Star, a funeral Mass for the late style icon, will be held at 3 P.M. local time this Thursday, June 21st at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Redemptorist Church. Jillian Ruffo,, "Kate Spade's Funeral to Be Held Thursday in Her Hometown of Kansas City," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Standing outside the church after the funeral, Army Maj. Brenna Bailey, azcentral, "Fallen Chandler soldier, Sgt. Alexander Conrad, was a 'hero,' brother says," 30 June 2018 The charges were rushed in the week after Gray’s funeral and the unrest that followed, and Mosby’s prosecutors were unable to get a single conviction. Dan Rodricks,, "Amid epic police corruption, Mosby eludes blame for surge in violence," 27 June 2018 Protestors took to the street on Tuesday morning after the funeral. Paula Rogo,, "Hundreds Gather to Lay Antwon Rose, Jr. to Rest in East Pittsburg," 26 June 2018 The latest round of protests come one day after Rose’s funeral – and one week after he was killed. Gina Martinez, Time, "Marchers Block Traffic in Pittsburgh as They Protest Police Shooting of Unarmed Black Teen Antwon Rose," 26 June 2018 Protests continued Tuesday, June 26, the day after the funeral. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "Antwon Rose Remembered at Funeral and Protests Following His Shooting by Police," 26 June 2018 By contrast Kim Jong Un made his first speech to the public a mere four months after his father's funeral. Jamie Tarabay, CNN, "Who is Kim Jong Un? Separating myth from fact," 5 June 2018 He was also hospitalized one day after the funeral for his wife of 73 years, Barbara, who died on April 17. The Washington Post,, "George H. W. Bush discharged from hospital," 4 June 2018 He was also hospitalized one day after the funeral for his wife of 73 years, Barbara, who died on April 17. The Washington Post,, "George H.W. Bush released from Maine hospital," 4 June 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

22 Oct 2018

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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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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