Definition of ceremonious in English:



  • 1Relating or appropriate to grand and formal occasions.

    ‘a Great Hall where ceremonious and public appearances were made’
    • ‘After a few ceremonious waves of his arm the chief, with expert precision, sticks the needle into my bicep, a few inches from my armpit.’
    • ‘Manning's prime ambition, on the other hand, is to occupy the Red House, and behind the galvanised paling surrounding the south of the Red House, workmen are quietly and feverishly preparing for his ceremonious entrance.’
    • ‘‘Ah, yes,’ replied Kierkegaard, unperturbed, stepping back with a ceremonious sweep of his arm, ‘I, however, shall.’’
    • ‘At least 6000 citizens had to ‘vote’ for an ostracism to be valid, and all the biggest political fish risked being fried in this ceremonious way.’
    • ‘Accompanied by a local band and scores of poorly clad children of the nearby slums, the students were given a ceremonious welcome at the Telugu High School in Anjeneyar Nagar.’
    • ‘At the end of the aisle Chief Marcett waited, dressed in ceremonious white robes and shelled necklaces.’
    • ‘The ceremonious opening of prizes is repeatedly replayed in our art class, as everyone breathtakingly awaits the signs of pay dirt in magical containers.’
    • ‘Dr. Westbank offered the operating scissors to Mac to sever the umbilical cord, a ceremonious thing that Mac was completely unaware of, but he did it anyway.’
    • ‘The trembling, querulous voice should have been enough to shatter the ceremonious moment, but, somehow, it was not.’
    • ‘There, the real weapons and armor of the Great Feihong hung - not the ceremonious and decorative ones in the Hall, although they too could be wielded and worn.’
    • ‘In his view, the cook should create the menu, order supplies, provide the artistic inspiration necessary for the great set-pieces of ceremonious dinners, and oversee the cooking.’
    • ‘Even though Lance may hoist a ceremonious champagne toast while cruising to victory on the Tour's last day, cyclists never should ride under the influence of alcohol.’
    • ‘It's not the most ceremonious way to launch the band's discography, perhaps, but it's a telling indicator that, after just a few live appearances, controller.controller have got people worked up.’
    • ‘Ironically, before giving the speech, he sings, as a ceremonious prelude to the lynching, ‘O Death,’ a song made popular (in addition to being sung here) by bluegrass superstar Ralph Stanley.’
    • ‘From the 13th century onward, tournaments became progressively less dangerous and more ceremonious.’
    • ‘After I had given my consent to marriage the ceremony had become less ceremonious, tables were pushed back to the walls and food was set out as a buffet.’
    • ‘The funeral of Cataridge had been brief, but ceremonious.’
    • ‘The equestrian idol is led up to a church, brought up to the altar and blessed before it begins the ceremonious procession through the Great Entrance of the town square.’
    • ‘Despite the ceremonious statements of intent and unanimous decisions in Prague, the Atlantic Alliance is drifting apart.’
    • ‘As MacNeice was to observe in 1941, ‘A Prayer for my Daughter’ articulates Yeats's nostalgia for a more ceremonious and structured past.’
    dignified, majestic, imposing, impressive, solemn, stately
    awe-inspiring, regal, imperial, elegant, grand, glorious, splendid, magnificent, resplendent, important, august, portentous
    formal, courtly, punctilious, courteous, civil, deferential, stiff, rigid, affected
    slow-moving, measured, deliberate, precise, scrupulous
    starchy, just so
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Excessively polite; punctilious.
      ‘he accepted the gifts with ceremonious dignity’
      • ‘While Jacques Chirac hugged the other leaders present at the gathering, to British Prime Minister Tony Blair he reportedly managed only a ceremonious handshake.’
      • ‘Koreans are generally courteous to the extent of being ceremonious when they interact with social superiors but can be very outgoing and friendly among friends and acquaintances of equal social status.’
      • ‘This is the sense of the word most relevant to our endeavor; this usage, which has some currency, stands in contrast to other common meanings such as being rigid, ceremonious, solemn, customary or not casual.’
      • ‘In addition to More's ceremonious demeanor and courtly attire, Sir John More wears his red robes of office as Judge of the King's Bench, hardly the right outfit for a visit with his grandchildren, one would think.’
      • ‘Unlike the comparatively ceremonious animated cartoons, early Schulz is giddy with unimportance.’


Mid 16th century: from French cérémonieux or late Latin caerimoniosus, from Latin caerimonia (see ceremony).