[ded-i-key-shuh n]
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  1. the act of dedicating.
  2. the state of being dedicated: Her dedication to medicine was so great that she had time for little else.
  3. a formal, printed inscription in a book, piece of music, etc., dedicating it to a person, cause, or the like.
  4. a personal, handwritten inscription in or on a work, as by an author to a friend.
  5. a ceremony marking the official completion or opening of a public building, institution, monument, etc.

Origin of dedication

1350–1400; Middle English dedicacioun < Latin dēdicātiōn- (stem of dēdicātiō), equivalent to dēdicāt(us) (see dedicate) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsded·i·ca·tion·al, adjectivenon·ded·i·ca·tion, nouno·ver·ded·i·ca·tion, nounpre·ded·i·ca·tion, nounre·ded·i·ca·tion, nounself-ded·i·ca·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dedication


  1. the act of dedicating or the state of being dedicated
  2. an inscription or announcement prefixed to a book, piece of music, etc, dedicating it to a person or thing
  3. complete and wholehearted devotion, esp to a career, ideal, etc
  4. a ceremony in which something, such as a church, is dedicated
Derived Formsdedicational, adjective
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 dedication

late 14c., "action of dedicating," from Old French dedicacion (14c., Modern French dédication) "consecration of a church or chapel," or directly from Latin dedicationem, noun of action from dedicare (see dedicate). Meaning "the giving of oneself to some purpose" is c.1600; as an inscription in a book, etc., from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper