Pronunciation: (ser'u-mō"nē),[key] —n., —pl.-nies. 1. the formal activities conducted on some solemn or important public or state occasion: the coronation ceremony. 2. a formal religious or sacred observance; a solemn rite: a marriage ceremony. 3. formal observances or gestures collectively; ceremonial observances: The breathless messenger had no time for ceremony. 4. any formal act or observance, esp. a meaningless one: His low bow was mere ceremony. 5. a gesture or act of politeness or civility: the ceremony of a handshake. 6. strict adherence to conventional forms; formality: to leave a room without ceremony. 7. stand on ceremony, to behave in a formal or ceremonious manner.