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Cer"e*mo*ny (?), n.; pl. Ceremonies (#). [F. cérémonie, L. caerimonia; perh. akin to E. create and from a root signifying to do or make.] 1. Ar act or series of acts, often of a symbolical character, prescribed by law, custom, or authority, in the conduct of important matters, as in the performance of religious duties, the transaction of affairs of state, and the celebration of notable events; as, the ceremony of crowning a sovereign; the ceremonies observed in consecrating a church; marriage and baptismal ceremonies.
According to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof shall ye keep it [the Passover]. Numb. ix. 3
Bring her up the high altar, that she may Spenser.
The sacred ceremonies there partake.
[The heralds] with awful ceremony Milton.
And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim
A solemn council.
2. Behavior regulated by strict etiquette; a formal method of performing acts of civility; forms of civility prescribed by custom or authority.
Ceremony was but devised at first Shak.
To set a gloss on . . . hollow welcomes . . .
But where there is true friendship there needs none.
Al ceremonies are in themselves very silly things; but yet a man of the world should know them. Chesterfield.
3. A ceremonial symbols; an emblem, as a crown, scepter, garland, etc. [Obs.]
Disrobe the images, Shak.
If you find them decked with ceremonies.
. . . Let no images
Be hung with Cæsar's trophies.
4. A sign or prodigy; a portent. [Obs.]
Cæsar, I never stood on ceremonies, Shak.
Yet, now they fright me.
Master of ceremonies, an officer who determines the forms to be observed, or superintends their observance, on a public occasion. -- Not to stand on ceremony, not to be ceremonious; to be familiar, outspoken, or bold.