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fu·​ner·​al ˈfyün-rəl How to pronounce funeral (audio)
: of, relating to, or constituting a funeral


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: the observances held for a dead person usually before burial or cremation
chiefly dialectal : a funeral sermon
: a funeral procession
: an end of something's existence
: a matter of concern to one : worry
if you flunk, it's your funeral

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Urrutia allowed Teixeira to stay and accompany her, first during the wake at La Chascona, the poet’s house in Santiago, and then throughout the funeral procession toward the city’s main cemetery. Alejandro Chacoff, The New Yorker, 14 Mar. 2023 But in the last couple of centuries, especially in Western countries, the practice has become toxic: From embalming fluids to casket materials, burials can contaminate soil and groundwater, and endanger the health of funeral workers. Quartz Staff, Quartz, 7 Mar. 2023 Services for Jerving begin with a funeral procession at 7:30 a.m. Monday from Krause Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 21600 W. Capitol Drive in Brookfield, to Elmbrook Church, 777 S. Barker Road, also in Brookfield. Elliot Hughes, Journal Sentinel, 13 Feb. 2023 Princess Anne was the only female member of the royal family to take part in the funeral processions for the Queen. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 27 Dec. 2022 The queen was commissioner-in-chief of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and helping to lead the funeral procession in London were four horses with the RCMP Musical Ride that were gifted to her during her reign. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2022 Her coffin then made its way through Central London in a funeral procession more than a mile long that involved thousands of members of the U.K.’s military. Time, 19 Sep. 2022 Family, friends and Chicago police officers on Thursday shared emotional tributes at the funeral Mass for Vásquez Lasso, who was shot and killed on March 1 while responding to a domestic 911 call. Jake Sheridan, Chicago Tribune, 9 Mar. 2023 Her family gathered for a funeral Mass at St. Peter Church in Quincy Friday morning, a day after her husband attended the wake with their sons in tow. Fox News, 3 Mar. 2023
According to ABC News, Feng had no family in the U.S., but her funeral service was coordinated by the Atlanta Chinese American Alliance and attended by around 100 people who were mostly strangers. Maria Pasquini, Peoplemag, 16 Mar. 2023 Malachy transformed my mother’s somber Jewish funeral service into a lively Irish wake — at her request. Laurie Gwen Shapiro, New York Times, 10 Mar. 2023 His funeral service was attended by the restaurant's employees and members of the community in addition to the Khatib family. Endia Fontanez, The Arizona Republic, 7 Mar. 2023 More than 1,000 people attended Ical Seb’s funeral service in Chicago. Laura Rodríguez Presa, Chicago Tribune, 5 Mar. 2023 The funeral service is at noon Wednesday with visitation starting at 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 3 Mar. 2023 As Donnelly wished, there will be no funeral service. Tonya Alanez,, 3 Mar. 2023 The 69-year-old O’Connell, who was found shot just before 1 p.m. Feb. 18 at his home in Hacienda Heights, is being remembered with three days of funeral services. Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2023 Haakon's parents, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, attended the state funeral service for the late monarch at Westminster Abbey. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 2 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'funeral.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near funeral

Cite this Entry

“Funeral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the ceremonies held for a dead person (as before burial)
funeral adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on funeral

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