Definition of ceremonial in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌserəˈmōnēəl/


1Relating to or used for formal events of a religious or public nature: ceremonial robes the solemn, ceremonial air of a procession of monks presented at ceremonial occasions
More example sentences
  • By the seventeenth century, this indigenous elite did not always dress like Spaniards, certainly not on public ceremonial occasions.
  • These are ceremonial occasions, and each person who helps the family is given a portion of the pig.
  • Why do modern armies and soldiers carry swords on ceremonial occasions?
2(Of a position or role) involving only nominal authority or power: originally a ceremonial post, it is now a position with executive power
More example sentences
  • Whilst there was merit in the idea, John Blunt worried that the Lord Mayor would become simply a figurehead, reducing the position to a purely ceremonial role.
  • But the result of reducing the Queen's representative to a purely ceremonial role has been to concentrate power in the Prime Minister's office.
  • The powers of the president largely a ceremonial post will be shared by the prime minister and the speaker of the lower chamber of parliament until a successor can be found.


1The system of rules and procedures to be observed at a formal or religious occasion: the procedure was conducted with all due ceremonial
More example sentences
  • Though we know little about early Christian worship, it is safe to assume that these common Eucharistic meals were celebrated with little ceremonial.
  • After a sumptuous feast in the morning, men and children go to the riverside and with due ceremonial worship offer a cocoasut to the God of water, Varuna.
  • With due ceremonial the last stone of the Ninetieth course was landed on the Rock by the Hedderwick praam-boat on the 30th.
1.1A rite or ceremony: a ceremonial called the ghost dance
More example sentences
  • Boortsag or borts'k, the small cakes made of flour, water and yeast and fried in oil, are still made, but primarily for use at various ceremonials and rites.
  • Over the decades, as the local Galata community dwindled, Neve Shalom became a locus for ceremonials - during Rosh Hashanah and at bar mitzvahs, weddings, funerals and the like.
  • In addition to these bilingual materials, traders developed vocabularies, missionaries prepared translations of the Bible and prayers, and anthropologists recorded traditional Navajo ceremonials and songs.



Pronunciation: /ˌserəˈmōnēəˌlizəm/
Example sentences
  • The significance of tobacco in Native North America is well-known, and its presence as a part of mourning ceremonialism has also been documented.
  • Hallowell found scanty evidence for bear ceremonialism in the Central Algonquian region, and failed to report any among Northern Iroquoian speakers.
  • It is a marvelous introduction to southeastern Indian ceremonialism for general readers and a must-read for serious students of the Yuchi, the Creek people, and southeastern Indians in general.


Pronunciation: /ˌserəˈmōnēələst/
Example sentences
  • On the one hand, he argues, there were the ceremonialists, represented most notably by Archbishop William Laud, who believed that outward and corporate worship shapes inward and private spirituality.
  • Nor does Confucius' emphasis on ritual mean that he was a punctilious ceremonialist who thought that the rites of worship and of social exchange had to be practiced correctly at all costs.
  • A ceremonialist may evoke a spirit to find a cure for his illness.


Pronunciation: /ˌserəˈmōnēəlē/
Example sentences
  • It was during this time and while still a major, that he received an audience with Pope Pius VI, who ceremonially placed a Dragoon helmet on Browne's head with the prayer that truth and religion might triumph over injustice and infidelity.
  • In a crucial period for Bulgaria's political and economical aspirations, and a crucial one for the region as well, the Parliament became the first since communism to serve its full term, ceremonially closing out its session yesterday.
  • Foreign heads of state ceremonially visited it, including Czar Alexander of Russia, who was shown round by Soane on the occasion of the visit to London of the Allied Sovereigns in 1814.


Late Middle English: from late Latin caerimonialis, from caerimonia 'religious worship' (see ceremony).

Words that rhyme with ceremonial

baronial, colonial, matrimonial, monial, neocolonial, postcolonial, patrimonial, testimonial

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cer·e·mo·ni·al

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