n. pl. cer·e·mo·nies
1. A formal act or set of acts performed as prescribed by ritual or custom: a wedding ceremony; the Japanese tea ceremony.
2. A conventional social gesture or act of courtesy: the ceremony of shaking hands when introduced.
3. A formal act without intrinsic purpose; an empty form: ignored the ceremony of asking for comments from other committee members.
4. Strict observance of formalities or etiquette: The head of state was welcomed with full ceremony.
[Middle English ceremonie, from Latin caerimōnia, religious rite.]
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