[ ser-uh-moh-nee ]
See synonyms for: ceremonyceremonies on Thesaurus.com

noun,plural cer·e·mo·nies.
  1. the formal activities conducted on some solemn or important public or state occasion: the coronation ceremony.

  2. a formal religious or sacred observance; a solemn rite: a marriage ceremony.

  1. formal observances or gestures collectively; ceremonial observances: The breathless messenger had no time for ceremony.

  2. any formal act or observance, especially a meaningless one: His low bow was mere ceremony.

  3. a gesture or act of politeness or civility: the ceremony of a handshake.

  4. strict adherence to conventional forms; formality: to leave a room without ceremony.

Idioms about ceremony

  1. stand on ceremony, to behave in a formal or ceremonious manner.

Origin of ceremony

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English ceremonie, from Medieval Latin cēremōnia, from Latin caerimōnia “sacred rite”; replacing Middle English cerymonye, from Middle French cerimonie, from Latin, as above

synonym study For ceremony

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.

Other words from ceremony

  • pre·cer·e·mo·ny, noun, plural pre·cer·e·mo·nies.

Words Nearby ceremony

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ceremony in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ceremony


/ (ˈsɛrɪmənɪ) /

nounplural -nies
  1. 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

  2. a religious rite or series of rites

  1. a courteous gesture or act: the ceremony of toasting the Queen

  2. ceremonial observances or gestures collectively: the ceremony of a monarchy

  3. stand on ceremony to insist on or act with excessive formality

  4. without ceremony in a casual or informal manner

Origin of ceremony

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with ceremony


see stand on (ceremony).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.