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

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 That investment also included technology with computers and lights for videoconferencing to setup pre-arrangements and funeral arrangements. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Rosewood Funeral Home turns to technology during coronavirus," 12 May 2020 Dixson said that no funeral arrangements have been made yet, and that police are investigating the crash. NBC News, "'Little Women: Atlanta' star 'Ms. Minnie' dies from car crash at 34," 28 Apr. 2020 His family had 72 hours to prepare funeral arrangements, per state guidelines. Andrew J. Yawn, USA TODAY, "Jazz funerals, normally a 'celebration of life,' are silenced: New Orleans grieves differently now," 25 Apr. 2020 The organization normally provides visitor support, including translation assistance and help with funeral arrangements. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "Hawaii to Visitors: We’ll Pay You to Leave," 24 Apr. 2020 Texas law allows a person to appoint an agent to be in charge of funeral arrangements and to describe the arrangements. Virginia Hammerle, Dallas News, "Three things to do on the death of a loved one," 10 Apr. 2020 Zhixia’s doctors told Sulin to begin thinking about funeral arrangements. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "China’s Struggles with Hospice Care," 30 Mar. 2020 Consideration will be given to Ohio's ongoing novel coronavirus-related shelter-in-place order and alternative methods for viewing the funeral arrangements will be made, Springdale police said. Pat Brennan,, "Springdale police: Preliminary funeral arrangements announced for Officer Kaia Grant," 24 Mar. 2020 Though baby Elias survived his early arrival, funeral arrangements are now being made for Amber Isaac. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "New York Woman Dies During Childbirth Days After Tweeting Concerns About Hospital Care," 29 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On December 9, 2019, the Houston police chief, Art Acevedo, lashed out at the Senate and the NRA before attending the funeral of a thirty-two-year-old sergeant shot and killed in the line of duty by the boyfriend of a domestic violence victim. Caroline Fraser, The New York Review of Books, "When Will We Care About Domestic Violence?," 13 May 2020 On March 13, her family attended a funeral for her nephew passed away suddenly. Cameron Knight,, "'We will get through this': Burlington family of 8 battles through coronavirus, together," 6 May 2020 Separately, authorities are trying to determine whether patient 31 is connected to an outbreak at another hospital outside Daegu, where a funeral for the brother of the sect’s leader was held earlier this month. Heesu Lee,, "How One Patient Turned Korea’s Virus Outbreak Into an Epidemic," 5 May 2020 Beaton has decided to put off planning a funeral for the time being. Paula Newton, CNN, "His pregnant wife was killed in a mass shooting. Her dying wish was for healthcare workers to have PPE," 1 May 2020 New York City's mayor and police commissioner on Wednesday defended their response to a large Hasidic Jewish funeral for a rabbi in Brooklyn on Tuesday. NBC News, "NYC Mayor de Blasio, police commissioner defend dispersal of Orthodox Jewish funeral," 29 Apr. 2020 De Blasio said his Tuesday Twitter outburst was in response to a funeral for a rabbi that drew hundreds of visitors. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "'Said with love': De Blasio defends singling out Jews but insists he 'won't tolerate anti-Semitism'," 29 Apr. 2020 Images posted on social media show hundreds of people on the street for what was reportedly a funeral for a rabbi who had died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. USA TODAY, "NYC mayor de Blasio under fire for shaming Jewish residents not distancing at big funeral," 29 Apr. 2020 The funeral for the wife was postponed, as family members mourned the husband. USA Today, "Heartbreak, prayer and mourning: US leads world in coronavirus deaths after deadliest week," 15 Apr. 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.

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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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Statistics for funeral

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Funeral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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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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