Definition of ceremony in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈserəˌmōnē/

noun (plural ceremonies)

1A formal religious or public occasion, typically one celebrating a particular event or anniversary: the winners were presented with their prizes at a special ceremony a public ceremony
More example sentences
  • Monday saw a ceremony to celebrate the achievements of sports people in the area.
  • This grove of trees is sacred to the Adivasis and in the past was used during many ceremonies and religious events.
  • Earlier this month, it was revealed he will receive a life achievement award at a ceremony in Los Angeles next June.
1.1An act or series of acts performed according to a traditional or prescribed form: we found a rabbi to perform the ceremony for us
ritual, rite, ceremonial, observance;
service, sacrament, liturgy, worship, celebration
2The ritual observances and procedures performed at grand and formal occasions: the new Queen was proclaimed with due ceremony
More example sentences
  • In the earlier period of Chinese history, jade played a pivotal role in ceremony and ritual.
  • The magnificent pomp and ceremony of Royal occasions remains a rich symbol of Britain's great history.
  • For the first time we have a glimpse of the perishable artefacts which played such a major role in Aztec rituals, pomp and ceremony.
pomp, protocol, formalities, niceties, decorum, etiquette, punctilio, politesse
2.1Formal polite behavior: he showed them to their table with great ceremony
More example sentences
  • It is still written in black marker on a white board and carried with great ceremony to each table.
  • Everything else is carried out with pomp and ceremony by the deferential, impeccably mannered, staff.
  • Accordingly, he received Mr. Scott with great ceremony, and insisted upon himself leading his horse to the stable.



stand on ceremony

[usually with negative] Insist on the observance of formalities: we don’t stand on ceremony in this house
More example sentences
  • But while lavish in his praise for tonight's visitors to Bootham Crescent, the City chief is adamant his side will not stand on ceremony.
  • I've found that sometimes it doesn't pay to stand on ceremony.
  • They don't stand on ceremony at Central Park of a Saturday when it's time for the stock-car racing to begin.

without ceremony

Without preamble or politeness: he was pushed without ceremony into the bathroom
More example sentences
  • The young Light Lord interrupted, without ceremony or pretense of politeness.
  • It speaks volumes about how the government can subtly and easily disarm anyone in the media, shut them down without ceremony, no matter who you are, or which government you are talking about, or which war you are talking about.
  • In fact, whenever I clip the box hedges in summer, I stick a dozen clippings without ceremony in what used to be the children's sand-pit and, almost without exception, they quickly form roots.


Late Middle English: from Old French ceremonie or Latin caerimonia 'religious worship', (plural) 'ritual observances'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cer·e·mo·ny

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