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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Ceremony \Cer"e*mo*ny\, n.; pl. Ceremonies. [F. c['e]r['e]monie, 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. [1913 Webster] According to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof shall ye keep it [the Passover]. --Numb. ix. 3 [1913 Webster] Bring her up the high altar, that she may The sacred ceremonies there partake. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] [The heralds] with awful ceremony And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim A solemn council. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Behavior regulated by strict etiquette; a formal method of performing acts of civility; forms of civility prescribed by custom or authority. [1913 Webster] Ceremony was but devised at first To set a gloss on . . . hollow welcomes . . . But where there is true friendship there needs none. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Al ceremonies are in themselves very silly things; but yet a man of the world should know them. --Chesterfield. [1913 Webster] 3. A ceremonial symbols; an emblem, as a crown, scepter, garland, etc. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Disrobe the images, If you find them decked with ceremonies. . . . Let no images Be hung with C[ae]sar's trophies. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 4. A sign or prodigy; a portent. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] C[ae]sar, I never stood on ceremonies, Yet, now they fright me. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster]