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[kree-meyt] /ˈkri meɪt/
verb (used with object), cremated, cremating.
to reduce (a dead body) to ashes by fire, especially as a funeral rite.
to consume by fire; burn.
Origin of cremate
1870-75; < Latin cremātus past participle of cremāre to burn to ashes; see -ate1
Related forms
[kri-mey-shuh n] /krɪˈmeɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
uncremated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cremation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For an instant Azuba stared, white-faced, at the cremation of the bonnet.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln
  • In Siam cremation is the general way of disposing of the dead.

    Travels in the Far East

    Ellen Mary Hayes Peck
  • It is but seldom that a cremation is not in progress at the burning ghat.

    East of Suez Frederic Courtland Penfield
  • It avoids even the fumes that are given off in cremation of the dead.

    The Critic in the Orient George Hamlin Fitch
  • The cremation, my dear, has nothing in truth to do with the Fixed Period.

    The Fixed Period

    Anthony Trollope
  • Then a stove ignited the mass and the work of cremation began.

    The Johnstown Horror James Herbert Walker
British Dictionary definitions for cremation


(transitive) to burn up (something, esp a corpse) and reduce to ash
Derived Forms
cremation, noun
cremationism, noun
cremationist, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Latin cremāre
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 cremation

1620s, from Latin cremationem (nominative crematio), noun of action from past participle stem of cremare "to burn, consume by fire" (also used of the dead), from PIE *krem-, extended form of root *ker- "heat, fire" (see carbon).



1874, a back-formation from cremation. Related: Cremated; cremating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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