9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ser-uh-moh-nee-uh l] /ˌsɛr əˈmoʊ ni əl/
of, relating to, or characterized by ceremony; formal; ritual:
a ceremonial occasion.
used in or in connection with ceremonies:
ceremonial robes.
a system of ceremonies, rites, or formalities prescribed for or observed on any particular occasion; a rite.
Roman Catholic Church.
  1. the order for rites and ceremonies.
  2. a book containing it.
formal behavior found at, or appropriate to, a certain occasion:
the ceremonial of a state banquet.
Origin of ceremonial
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin cēremōniālis, Late Latin caerimōniālis. See ceremony, -al1
Related forms
ceremonialism, noun
ceremonialist, noun
ceremonially, adverb
anticeremonial, adjective
anticeremonially, adverb
anticeremonialism, noun
anticeremonialist, noun, adjective
nonceremonial, adjective
nonceremonially, adverb
preceremonial, adjective
unceremonial, adjective
unceremonially, adverb
Can be confused
ceremonial, ceremonious.
1. solemn, conventional, ceremonious. 3. ritual, liturgy.
1. informal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ceremonial
  • The exhibit features everything from traditional regalia to ceremonial drums to headdresses to contemporary artwork.
  • Bigamists respect marriage, or they would not go through the highly ceremonial and even ritualistic formality of bigamy.
  • He devoted much time and attention to the ceremonial details of his princely office.
  • From that time the owner must be careful to avoid ceremonial impurity.
  • In addition to the demands of the day, presidents must take time for ceremonial duties.
  • The site grew over the centuries, transforming into an important ceremonial complex that flourished until the eighth century.
  • Many of the stepped pyramids were spiritual and ceremonial temples that also served as high vantage points.
  • The equestrian units are now mostly for ceremonial events.
  • All were led to the ceremonial courtyard of the palace and systematically executed.
  • One measure of a kingdom's wealth was its large temples, ceremonial plazas, and palaces.
British Dictionary definitions for ceremonial


involving or relating to ceremony or ritual
the observance of formality, esp in etiquette
a plan for formal observances on a particular occasion; ritual
  1. the prescribed order of rites and ceremonies
  2. a book containing this
Derived Forms
ceremonialism, noun
ceremonialist, noun
ceremonially, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ceremonial

c.1400, "belonging to (religious) ritual," also as a noun, "a ceremonial practice," from Late Latin caerimonialis "pertaining to ceremony," from caerimonia (see ceremony). Related: Ceremonially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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