Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[ser-uh-moh-nee] /ˈsɛr əˌmoʊ ni/
noun, plural ceremonies.
the formal activities conducted on some solemn or important public or state occasion:
the coronation ceremony.
a formal religious or sacred observance; a solemn rite:
a marriage ceremony.
formal observances or gestures collectively; ceremonial observances:
The breathless messenger had no time for ceremony.
any formal act or observance, especially a meaningless one:
His low bow was mere ceremony.
a gesture or act of politeness or civility:
the ceremony of a handshake.
strict adherence to conventional forms; formality:
to leave a room without ceremony.
stand on ceremony, to behave in a formal or ceremonious manner.
Origin of ceremony
1350-1400; Middle English ceremonie < Medieval Latin cēremōnia, Latin caerimōnia sacred rite; replacing Middle English cerymonye < Middle French cerimonie < Latin, as above
Related forms
preceremony, noun, plural preceremonies.
1, 2. Ceremony, rite, ritual refer to set observances and acts traditional in religious services or on public occasions. Ceremony applies to more or less formal dignified acts on religious or public occasions: a marriage ceremony; an inaugural ceremony. A rite is an established, prescribed, or customary form of religious or other solemn practice: the rite of baptism. Ritual refers to the form of conducting worship or to a code of ceremonies in general: Masonic rituals. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ceremony
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is convinced that, but for the ceremony, he would have been seriously injured.

    Magic and Religion Andrew Lang
  • I was certainly present at the ceremony, but I have utterly forgotten her name.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • Do not cut me, for I have come to invite you to the ceremony which Dumalawi and his wife are to make.

    Philippine Folk Tales Mabel Cook Cole
  • In this ceremony it was known that John Castell had been doomed to play a leading part.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • In this way they had finished the ceremony of exposing him, and taken their final leave of him.

British Dictionary definitions for ceremony


noun (pl) -nies
a formal act or ritual, often set by custom or tradition, performed in observation of an event or anniversary: a ceremony commemorating Shakespeare's birth
a religious rite or series of rites
a courteous gesture or act: the ceremony of toasting the Queen
ceremonial observances or gestures collectively: the ceremony of a monarchy
stand on ceremony, to insist on or act with excessive formality
without ceremony, in a casual or informal manner
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin cēremōnia, from Latin caerimōnia what is sacred, a religious rite
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ceremony

late 14c., cerymonye, from Old French ceremonie and directly from Medieval Latin ceremonia, from Latin caerimonia "holiness, sacredness; awe; reverent rite, sacred ceremony," an obscure word, possibly of Etruscan origin, or a reference to the ancient rites performed by the Etruscan pontiffs at Caere, near Rome. Introduced in English by Wyclif.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with ceremony


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ceremony

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ceremony

Scrabble Words With Friends