of, relating to, or characterized by ceremony; formal; ritual: a ceremonial occasion.
used in or in connection with ceremonies: ceremonial robes.


a system of ceremonies, rites, or formalities prescribed for or observed on any particular occasion; a rite.
Roman Catholic Church.
  1. the order for rites and ceremonies.
  2. a book containing it.
formal behavior found at, or appropriate to, a certain occasion: the ceremonial of a state banquet.

Origin of ceremonial

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin cēremōniālis, Late Latin caerimōniālis. See ceremony, -al1
Related formscer·e·mo·ni·al·ism, nouncer·e·mo·ni·al·ist, nouncer·e·mo·ni·al·ly, adverban·ti·cer·e·mo·ni·al, adjectivean·ti·cer·e·mo·ni·al·ly, adverban·ti·cer·e·mo·ni·al·ism, nounan·ti·cer·e·mo·ni·al·ist, noun, adjectivenon·cer·e·mo·ni·al, adjectivenon·cer·e·mo·ni·al·ly, adverbpre·cer·e·mo·ni·al, adjectiveun·cer·e·mo·ni·al, adjectiveun·cer·e·mo·ni·al·ly, adverb
Can be confusedceremonial ceremonious

Synonyms for ceremonial

Antonyms for ceremonial

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ceremonially

Contemporary Examples of ceremonially

Historical Examples of ceremonially

  • Noa (n-a)--ceremonially free; unrestrained by tabu (p. 126).

    Unwritten Literature of Hawaii

    Nathaniel Bright Emerson

  • “Well indeed,” said Mamba once again, falsely but ceremonially.

    The Fugitives

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • Yet they are regarded as ceremonially pure, and are often cooks to the zamindars.

  • The bride cut it ceremonially, and it was distributed in the usual way.

    The Retrospect

    Ada Cambridge

  • The two next classes wear it and are canonically and ceremonially entitled.

British Dictionary definitions for ceremonially



involving or relating to ceremony or ritual


the observance of formality, esp in etiquette
a plan for formal observances on a particular occasion; ritual
  1. the prescribed order of rites and ceremonies
  2. a book containing this
Derived Formsceremonialism, nounceremonialist, nounceremonially, adverb
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 ceremonially



c.1400, "belonging to (religious) ritual," also as a noun, "a ceremonial practice," from Late Latin caerimonialis "pertaining to ceremony," from caerimonia (see ceremony). Related: Ceremonially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper