from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Strictly observant of or devoted to ceremony, ritual, or etiquette; punctilious: "borne on silvery trays by ceremonious world-weary waiters” ( Financial Times).
  • adj. Characterized by ceremony.
  • adj. In accord with prescribed or customary usage; rigidly formal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Fond of ceremony, ritual or strict etiquette; punctilious
  • adj. Characterized by rigid formality

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Consisting of outward forms and rites; ceremonial. [In this sense ceremonial is now preferred.]
  • adj. According to prescribed or customary rules and forms; devoted to forms and ceremonies; formally respectful; punctilious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Consisting of or relating to outward forms and rites; conformable to prescribed ceremony.
  • Full of ceremony or formality; marked by solemnity of manner or method.
  • According to prescribed or customary formalities or punctilios; characterized by more elaborate forms of politeness than are commonly used between intimate acquaintances; formal in manner or method: as, ceremonious phrases.
  • Observant of conventional forms; fond of using ceremony; punctilious as to outward observances and ceremonies.
  • Synonyms Ceremonious, Ceremonial, Formal. Ceremonious, full of ceremony, fond of ceremony; ceremonial, consisting in or having the nature of ceremony, or bearing upon ceremonies: as, ceremonious manners, persons; ceremonial law, rites, uncleanness. Formal differs from ceremonious in that a formal person tries too hard to conform to rule in his whole bearing as well as in his bearing toward others, while a ceremonious person magnifies too much the conventional rules of social intercourse; thus both are opposed to natural, formal to easy, and ceremonious to hearty or friendly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characterized by pomp and ceremony and stately display
  • adj. rigidly formal or bound by convention


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Every married woman must perform here certain ceremonious ablutions at regular intervals.

    The Promised Land

  • Another story featured Alexandra, Princess of Wales, noting that when she and the royal trunks failed to make connections on the occasion of a certain ceremonious dinner at a brilliant English house-party, the Princess, too gracious to spoil her hostess’ plans, resourcefully directed her maid to cut off the skirt of her riding habit.

    The Tailor-Made | Edwardian Promenade

  • Of course, people would be free to engage in 'ceremonious' marriage; such an event, however, would have no legal (enforceable in court) consequences.

    Bella DePaulo: Challenges to the Privileging of Married People, from Across the Ideological Spectrum

  • During service, Master Simon stood up in the pew, and repeated the responses very audibly; evincing that kind of ceremonious devotion punctually observed by a gentleman of the old school, and

    The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon

  • There was as yet no evidence of malice on the part of its crew: only a kind of ceremonious irreverence.


  • IT was lovely, thought Mrs. Miniver, nodding good-bye to the flower-woman and carrying her big sheaf of chrysanthemums down the street with a kind of ceremonious joy, as though it were a cornucopia; it was lovely, this settling down again, this tidying away of the summer into its box, this taking up of the thread of one's life where the holidays (irrelevant interlude) had made one drop it.

    Mrs. Miniver

  • I have found that almost any simple phrase of music or words repeated slowly and with a kind of ceremonious attention, enthralls a year-old child.

    Here and Now Story Book Two- to seven-year-olds

  • I have found that any simple statement about a familiar object or act told (or sung) with a kind of ceremonious attention and with an obvious and simple rhythm, enthralls a two-year-old.

    Here and Now Story Book Two- to seven-year-olds

  • The people wore garlands whilst witnessing them, the matrons offered up intercessions; feasting went on in the forecourts of the houses with open doors, and the day was observed with every kind of ceremonious rite.

    The History of Rome, Vol. III

  • During service, Master Simon stood up in the pew, and repeated the responses very audibly; evincing that kind of ceremonious devotion punctually observed by a gentleman of the old school, and a man of old family connections.

    Old Christmas From the Sketch Book of Washington Irving


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.