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

Historical Examples

noun (pl) -nies
a formal act or ritual, often set by custom or tradition, performed in observation of an event or anniversary: a ceremony commemorating Shakespeare’s birth
a religious rite or series of rites
a courteous gesture or act: the ceremony of toasting the Queen
ceremonial observances or gestures collectively: the ceremony of a monarchy
stand on ceremony, to insist on or act with excessive formality
without ceremony, in a casual or informal manner

late 14c., cerymonye, from Old French ceremonie and directly from Medieval Latin ceremonia, from Latin caerimonia “holiness, sacredness; awe; reverent rite, sacred ceremony,” an obscure word, possibly of Etruscan origin, or a reference to the ancient rites performed by the Etruscan pontiffs at Caere, near Rome. Introduced in English by Wyclif.
see: stand on (ceremony)


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