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From Middle French cérémonieux, from Late Latin caerimoniosus, from Latin caerimonia.


ceremonious (comparative more ceremonious, superlative most ceremonious)

  1. Fond of ceremony, ritual or strict etiquette; punctilious
    • 1608, Thomas Dekker, Lanthorne and Candle-Light in The Guls Hornbook and The Belman of London, J.M. Dent, 1936, p. 163, [1]
      [] some Writers do almost nothing contrary to the custome, and some by vertue of that Priviledge, dare doe any thing. I am neither of that first order, nor of this last. The one is too fondly-ceremonious, the other too impudently audacious.
    • 1958, C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms, Harcourt Brace & Co., 1986, Chapter III, p. 23,
      Ancient and oriental cultures are in many ways more conventional, more ceremonious, and more courteous than our own.
  2. Characterized by ceremony or rigid formality
    • c. 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The VVinters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, (please specify the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals)]:
      O, the sacrifice! / How ceremonious, solemn and unearthly / It was i' the offering!
    • 1924, Herman Melville, Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co., Chapter 17, [2]
      Captain Vere advanced to meet him, [] and interrupting the other's wonted ceremonious salutation, said, "Nay, tell me how it is with yonder man," []

Derived terms[edit]