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as in ritual
an oft-repeated action or series of actions performed in accordance with tradition or a set of rules the funeral of a pope is usually marked by rich pageantry and elaborate ceremonials

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How is the word ceremonial distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of ceremonial are ceremonious, conventional, and formal. While all these words mean "marked by attention to or adhering strictly to prescribed forms," ceremonial and ceremonious both imply strict attention to what is prescribed by custom or by ritual, but ceremonial applies to things that are associated with ceremonies.

a ceremonial offering

When can ceremonious be used instead of ceremonial?

While in some cases nearly identical to ceremonial, ceremonious applies to persons given to ceremony or to acts attended by ceremony.

made his ceremonious entrance

When is it sensible to use conventional instead of ceremonial?

While the synonyms conventional and ceremonial are close in meaning, conventional implies accord with general custom and usage and may suggest a stodgy lack of originality or independence.

conventional courtesy
conventional fiction

When could formal be used to replace ceremonial?

In some situations, the words formal and ceremonial are roughly equivalent. However, formal applies both to things prescribed by and to persons obedient to custom and may suggest stiff, restrained, or old-fashioned behavior.

a formal report
the headmaster's formal manner

Thesaurus Entries Near ceremonial

Cite this Entry

“Ceremonial.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ceremonial. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on ceremonial

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