1 formal public/religious event
ADJ. brief, short | quiet, simple | elaborate, glittering | moving, solemn | private, public | formal, important, official, special an official ceremony to welcome the new director | opening the opening ceremony of the Olympic games | closing | award/awards | civil | cake-cutting, dedication, degree, funeral, graduation, inauguration, initiation, marriage, naming, presentation, prize-giving, signing, swearing-in, tea, unveiling, wedding, wreath-laying the Japanese tea ceremony
VERB + CEREMONY conduct, hold, perform The marriage ceremony was performed by the bishop. | attend, be present at, take part in
CEREMONY + VERB take place | mark sth a special ceremony to mark the end of the war
PREP. at a/the ~ the guest of honour at the ceremony | during a/the ~ A lot of people wept during the funeral ceremony. | in a/the ~ They were married in a simple ceremony.
2 formal behaviour/traditional actions and words
VERB + CEREMONY stand on I won't stand on ceremony (= be formal).
PREP. without ~ Without ceremony, the woman slammed the door shut in my face.
PHRASES pomp and ceremony the pomp and ceremony of a royal wedding | with due/great ceremony With due ceremony, he took the oath to become president.