Ritual vs Ceremony - What's the difference?

ritual | ceremony |

As nouns the difference between ritual and ceremony

is that ritual is rite; a repeated set of actions while ceremony is a ritual with religious significance.

As a adjective ritual

is related to a rite or repeated set of actions.



Alternative forms

* rituall (obsolete)


(en adjective)
  • Related to a rite or repeated set of actions.
  • They performed the ritual lighting of the candles.

    Derived terms

    * ritually


    (en noun)
  • rite; a repeated set of actions
  • They carried out the ritual carefully.

    Derived terms

    * ritualisation, ritualization * ritualise, ritualize * ritualist * ritualistic * ritually


    Alternative forms

    * (both archaic)


  • A ritual with religious significance.
  • An official gathering to celebrate, commemorate, or otherwise mark some event.
  • A formal socially established behaviour, often in relation to people of different ranks.
  • (obsolete) An omen or portent.
  • * 1599 , , II. i. 197:
  • For he is superstitious grown of late, / Quite from the main opinion he held once / Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies.
  • * 1599 , , II. ii. 14:
  • Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies, / Yet now they fright me.

    Derived terms

    * ceremonial * ceremonially * ceremonialness * ceremonious * ceremoniously * ceremoniousness * ramp ceremony