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[ser-uh-moh-nee-uh s] /ˌsɛr əˈmoʊ ni əs/
carefully observant of ceremony; formally or elaborately polite:
He greeted his rival with a ceremonious display of friendship.
pertaining to, marked by, or consisting of ceremony; formal:
a ceremonious reception.
Origin of ceremonious
1545-55; ceremony + -ous; compare Middle French cerimonieux < Late Latin caerimōniōsus
Related forms
ceremoniously, adverb
ceremoniousness, noun
anticeremonious, adjective
anticeremoniously, adverb
anticeremoniousness, noun
nonceremonious, adjective
nonceremoniously, adverb
nonceremoniousness, noun
superceremonious, adjective
superceremoniously, adverb
superceremoniousness, noun
Can be confused
ceremonial, ceremonious.
1. ceremonial; conventional, punctilious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ceremonious
  • There, after ceremonious addresses and formal greetings, something strange occurred.
  • Preparation is meticulous, and consumption is ceremonious and deliberate.
  • People gather for the ceremonious dressing of the statue.
  • They are excessively ceremonious, and sit on the ground leaning backward on their heels, and cross-legged.
British Dictionary definitions for ceremonious


especially or excessively polite or formal
observing ceremony; involving formalities
Derived Forms
ceremoniously, adverb
ceremoniousness, noun
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 ceremonious

1550s, from Middle French cérémonieux or directly from Late Latin caerimoniosus, from Latin caerimonia (see ceremony). Meaning "full of show and ceremony" is from 1610s. Related: Ceremoniously; ceremoniousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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