cer·e·mo·ny [ser-uh-moh-nee] (previously 05-17-13)
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.
3. formal observances or gestures collectively; ceremonial observances: The breathless messenger had no time for ceremony.
4. any formal act or observance, especially a meaningless one: His low bow was mere ceremony.
5. a gesture or act of politeness or civility: the ceremony of a handshake.
6. strict adherence to conventional forms; formality: to leave a room without ceremony.
7. stand on ceremony, to behave in a formal or ceremonious manner.
pre·cer·e·mo·ny, noun, plural pre·cer·e·mo·nies.
function, observance, parade, service, show, rite, commemoration, formality, solemnity, ordinance, sacrament, custom, liturgy, tradition, ceremonial, pomp, protocol, form, propriety, decorum
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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.
Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English ceremonie < Medieval Latin ceremonia, Latin caerimonia sacred rite; replacing Middle English cerymonye < Middle French cerimonie < Latin, as above
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