ceremony

[ ser-uh-moh-nee ]
/ ˈsɛr əˌmoʊ ni /

noun, plural cer·e·mo·nies.

the formal activities conducted on some solemn or important public or state occasion: the coronation ceremony.
a formal religious or sacred observance; a solemn rite: a marriage ceremony.
formal observances or gestures collectively; ceremonial observances: The breathless messenger had no time for ceremony.
any formal act or observance, especially a meaningless one: His low bow was mere ceremony.
a gesture or act of politeness or civility: the ceremony of a handshake.
strict adherence to conventional forms; formality: to leave a room without ceremony.

Idioms

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

Origin of ceremony

1350–1400; Middle English ceremonie < Medieval Latin cēremōnia, Latin caerimōnia sacred rite; replacing Middle English cerymonye < Middle French cerimonie < Latin, as above

Related forms

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

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for ceremony

British Dictionary definitions for ceremony

ceremony

/ (ˈsɛrɪmənɪ) /

noun plural -nies

a formal act or ritual, often set by custom or tradition, performed in observation of an event or anniversarya ceremony commemorating Shakespeare's birth
a religious rite or series of rites
a courteous gesture or actthe ceremony of toasting the Queen
ceremonial observances or gestures collectivelythe ceremony of a monarchy
stand on ceremony to insist on or act with excessive formality
without ceremony in a casual or informal manner

Word Origin for 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

Idioms and Phrases with ceremony

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.