Definition of cremate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Dispose of (a dead person's body) by burning it to ashes, typically after a funeral ceremony.

    • ‘I do believe that when a body is cremated or buried, it is just that - a body.’
    • ‘Requiem Mass took place the following day and he was cremated at a private ceremony.’
    • ‘His funeral took place in Plymouth and his body was cremated.’
    • ‘The dead usually are cremated after an elaborate procession.’
    • ‘Another possibility is to remove filled teeth from dead people before bodies are cremated.’
    • ‘According to Muslim traditions, a body must be cremated within 24 hours.’
    • ‘They cremated their dead and placed urns of their ashes in flat graves in cemeteries.’
    • ‘Some great teachers of the past told their students simply to cremate their body and dispose of it, because the body is not important.’
    • ‘Tibetans cremate their dead or bury them in a sky funeral, considered the only way to ensure rebirth.’
    • ‘By Friday evening, 45 bodies had been cremated in mass ceremonies.’
    • ‘He knew that his people wouldn't carry out that wish because it's not customary within general Maori protocol to cremate the dead.’
    • ‘In the Hindu tradition, the dead are cremated, preferably on the banks of a river.’
    • ‘Raising a monument to the memory of the deceased at the place where his dead body is cremated is taboo.’
    • ‘On Wednesday, her body was cremated on a funeral pyre at a Buddhist temple, while her husband Josef watched silently.’
    • ‘Well, I have always talked about my body being cremated, and then having the ashes dispersed on a park or a garden.’
    • ‘The wrong woman's body was cremated after an identification mix-up by a funeral parlour.’
    • ‘They were mostly Indian cultural ceremonies, but there were also several Europeans cremated on funeral pyres.’
    • ‘Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikhs cremate their dead.’
    • ‘It was excavated in the 1940s, but the bodies had been cremated and not buried.’
    • ‘For now though, the city still buries and cremates its dead as it has done for the last century.’
    burn, burn up, reduce to ashes, consume by fire, carbonize
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    1. 1.1informal Burn (something), typically food.
      • ‘And the way to ensure that you ‘don't cremate it on the outside and it's red on the inside’ is to ensure you have the right heat and some patience.’
      • ‘It either popped-up bread much under-done, or else cremated my quality loaf into charcoal.’
      • ‘I cremate some form of pasta for dinner and, with Jess's help, manage not to burn the house to the ground.’
      • ‘You see, all the passengers are off collecting wood to cremate the fuselage.’
      • ‘Summer - a time for relaxing in the garden, cremating sausages on the barbecue and falling over from too much exertion in the beer cans department.’
      • ‘We hid in the Garden of Remembrance, cremating a few cigarettes and swearing too much in the presence of the recently scattered, until an hour later, Roger arrived for his old man's funeral.’
      • ‘Solemnly, I return to where Shawn and my mom are trying to decide if the food I've cremated is edible.’


Late 19th century (as cremation): from Latin cremare ‘burn’.