ceremony

A ceremony is a formal event held on special occasions such as weddings and graduations. Even if an occasion isn’t traditionally honored with a ceremony, you can hold one anyway; we know your cat’s third birthday is important.

Ceremony can also refer to proper, formal behavior; someone who insists on behaving properly can be said to “stand on ceremony.” If you insist on standing up and shaking hands every time you’re introduced to someone, you're a person who stands on ceremony. If you prefer to sit back and offer a casual “Hey,” you're a person who acts “without ceremony.”

Definitions of ceremony
  1. noun
    a formal event performed on a special occasion
    “a ceremony commemorating Pearl Harbor”
    synonyms: ceremonial, ceremonial occasion, observance
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    types:
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    circumstance
    formal ceremony about important occasions
    funeral
    a ceremony at which a dead person is buried or cremated
    hymeneals, nuptials, wedding, wedding ceremony
    the social event at which the ceremony of marriage is performed
    pageant, pageantry
    a rich and spectacular ceremony
    dedication
    a ceremony in which something (as a building) is dedicated to some goal or purpose
    opening
    a ceremony accompanying the start of some enterprise
    commemoration, memorialisation, memorialization
    a ceremony to honor the memory of someone or something
    military ceremony
    a formal ceremony performed by military personnel
    induction, initiation, installation
    a formal entry into an organization or position or office
    exercise
    (usually plural) a ceremony that involves processions and speeches
    fire walking
    the ceremony of walking barefoot over hot stones or a bed of embers
    formalities, formality
    a requirement of etiquette or custom
    Maundy
    a public ceremony on Maundy Thursday when the monarch distributes Maundy money
    potlatch
    a ceremonial feast held by some Indians of the northwestern coast of North America (as in celebrating a marriage or a new accession) in which the host gives gifts to tribesmen and others to display his superior wealth (sometimes, formerly, to his own impoverishment)
    inaugural, inauguration
    the ceremonial induction into a position
    burial, entombment, inhumation, interment, sepulture
    the ritual placing of a corpse in a grave
    sky burial
    a traditional Tibetan funeral ritual in which the corpse is exposed to the open air to be eaten by sacred vultures
    rededication
    a new dedication
    coronation, enthronement, enthronisation, enthronization, investiture
    the ceremony of installing a new monarch
    bar mitzvah
    (Judaism) an initiation ceremony marking the 13th birthday of a Jewish boy and signifying the beginning of religious responsibility
    bas mitzvah, bat mitzvah, bath mitzvah
    (Judaism) an initiation ceremony marking the 12th birthday of a Jewish girl and signifying the beginning of religious responsibility
    commencement, commencement ceremony, commencement exercise, graduation, graduation exercise
    an academic exercise in which diplomas are conferred
    type of:
    affair, function, occasion, social function, social occasion
    a vaguely specified social event
  2. noun
    any activity that is performed in an especially solemn elaborate or formal way
    “he makes a ceremony of addressing his golf ball”
    “he disposed of it without ceremony
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    types:
    chanoyu, tea ceremony
    an ancient ritual for preparing and serving and drinking tea
    type of:
    activity
    any specific behavior
  3. noun
    the proper or conventional behavior on some solemn occasion
    “an inaugural ceremony
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    groundbreaking, groundbreaking ceremony
    the ceremonial breaking of the ground to formally begin a construction project
    purgation, purification
    a ceremonial cleansing from defilement or uncleanness by the performance of appropriate rites
    lustrum
    a ceremonial purification of the Roman population every five years following the census
    religious ceremony, religious ritual
    a ceremony having religious meaning
    military ceremony
    a military custom performed in observance of some event or anniversary
    presentation
    the activity of formally presenting something (as a prize or reward)
    agape, love feast
    a religious meal shared as a sign of love and fellowship
    religious rite, rite
    an established ceremony prescribed by a religion
    divine service, religious service, service
    the act of public worship following prescribed rules
    sacrament
    a formal religious ceremony conferring a specific grace on those who receive it; the two Protestant ceremonies are baptism and the Lord's Supper; in the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church there are seven traditional rites accepted as instituted by Jesus: baptism and confirmation and Holy Eucharist and penance and holy orders and matrimony and extreme unction
    confirmation
    a ceremony held in the synagogue (usually at Pentecost) to admit as adult members of the Jewish community young men and women who have successfully completed a course of study in Judaism
    sanctification
    a religious ceremony in which something is made holy
    Oblation, religious offering
    the act of offering the bread and wine of the Eucharist
    inunction, unction
    anointing as part of a religious ceremony or healing ritual
    libation
    the act of pouring a liquid offering (especially wine) as a religious ceremony
    Mass
    (Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Churches) the celebration of the Eucharist
    type of:
    activity
    any specific behavior
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