1530s, "a reduction in rank or dignity," from French dégradation (14c., Old French degradacion), noun of action from past-participle stem of degrader (see degrade). From 1752 as "state of being reduced from a higher to a lower grade or power;" by 1769 as "reduction of strength, value, magnitude, etc." Related: Degradational.
late 14c., cerymonye, "a religious observance, a solemn rite," from Old French ceremonie and directly from Medieval Latin ceremonia, from Latin caerimonia "holiness, sacredness; awe; reverent rite, sacred ceremony," an obscure word, possibly of Etruscan origin, or a reference to the ancient rites performed by the Etruscan pontiffs at Caere, near Rome.
Introduced in English by Wyclif. Also from late 14c. as "a conventional usage of politeness, formality." The disparaging sense of "mere formality" is by 1550s.
c. 1200, from Anglo-French vilanie, Old French vilenie "low character, unworthy act, disgrace, degradation," from vilain (see villain).
c. 1400, "belonging to (religious) ritual," also as a noun, "a ceremonial practice," from Late Latin caerimonialis "pertaining to ceremony," from caerimonia (see ceremony). Related: Ceremonially.
Ceremonial means connected with or constituting or consisting of or fit for a ceremony (i.e. a piece of ritual or formality) or ceremonies .... Ceremonious means full of or resulting from ceremony i.e. attention to forms .... [Fowler]
1550s, "relating to outward forms or rites," also, of persons, "punctilious in matters of formality," from French cérémonieux or directly from Late Latin caerimoniosus, from Latin caerimonia "reverent rite, sacred ceremony" (see ceremony). The meaning "full of show and ceremony" is from 1610s. Related: Ceremoniously; ceremoniousness.
"ceremony of burying a dead person," 1510s, probably short for funeral service, etc., from funeral (adj.).
c. 1300, "observance of ceremony," from Old French solemnite, solempnete "celebration, high festival, church ceremony" and directly from Latin solemnitatem (nominative solemnitas) "a solemnity," from sollemnis (see solemn). Meaning "state of being solemn" is from 1712. Related: Solemnities.
Yiddish word for the circumcision ceremony, 1956, from bris milah, Ashkenazi pronunciation of brit milah "covenant of circumcision."