• synonyms


noun Ornithology.
  1. a fleshy, membranous covering of the base of the upper mandible of a bird, especially a bird of prey or a parrot, through which the nostrils open.
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Origin of cere1

1480–90; earlier sere, spelling variant of *cere < Medieval Latin cēra literally, wax < Latin
Related formscered, adjectivecere·less, adjective


verb (used with object), cered, cer·ing.
  1. Archaic. to wrap in or as if in a cerecloth, especially a corpse.
  2. Obsolete. to wax.
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Origin of cere2

1375–1425; late Middle English ceren < Latin cērāre to wax, verbal derivative of cēra wax


  1. Ceramic Engineer.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cere

Historical Examples

  • Its cere and feet were yellow, and the circle of its eyelids a bright yellow.

    The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1

    Gilbert White

  • The eye is bright yellow, as is the cere or base of the beak.

  • Bill black, the cere or membrane at its base black, accompanied by whitish whiskers.

    Lachesis Lapponica

    Carl von Linn

  • On re tide ws sum oer witega on Iudea-lande, his nama ws Abacuc, se br his ryfterum mete to cere.

  • Cere and feet yellow; bill light blue at the base, black at the tip, in all the American species.

British Dictionary definitions for cere


  1. a soft waxy swelling, containing the nostrils, at the base of the upper beak in such birds as the parrot
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Word Origin

C15: from Old French cire wax, from Latin cēra


  1. (tr) to wrap (a corpse) in a cerecloth
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin cērāre, from cēra wax
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

Word Origin and History for cere


late 15c., from French cire "wax" (12c.), from Latin cera "wax, wax seal, wax writing tablet," related to Greek keros "beeswax," of unknown origin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper