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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. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for cremation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Perhaps it was a Utopian form of fire alarm, and we were doomed to cremation in our mosquito-netting unless we roused ourselves.

    The American Egypt Channing Arnold
  • It is but seldom that a cremation is not in progress at the burning ghat.

    East of Suez Frederic Courtland Penfield
  • The stranger's sharp eyes surveyed the remaining board and the cremation ashes of the departed, and nodded sourly.

    On a Donkey's Hurricane Deck R. Pitcher Woodward
  • The cremation, my dear, has nothing in truth to do with the Fixed Period.

    The Fixed Period Anthony Trollope
  • The tooth did not, according to Sinhalese tradition, form part of the relics distributed after the cremation of the Buddha.

  • Here, as in Calcutta, cremation is constantly going on beside the river.

    Foot-prints of Travel Maturin M. Ballou
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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