Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Cerecloth.
  • n. A burial garment. Often used in the plural.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A burial shroud or garment.
  • n. Cerecloth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cerecloth used for the special purpose of enveloping a dead body when embalmed.
  • n. Any shroud or wrapping for the dead.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Cloth dipped in melted wax and used in wrapping dead bodies when they are embalmed; hence, any grave-cloth; in the plural, grave-clothes in general.
  • n. The under-cover of an altar-slab.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. burial garment in which a corpse is wrapped

Etymologies

From French cirement ("waxing, wax dressing"), from cirer ("to wax, wrap"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "cerement," the cloth dipped "in melting wax, in which dead bodies were enfolded when embalmed" (_Hamlet_, act i.sc. 4), but the sense of the passage seems rather to point to "cerecloth," "searcloth," a plaster to cover up a wound.

    The Works of Lord Byron. Vol. 2

  • A gauzy veil of white covered her head, like a cerement of the grave.

    Nevermore

  • And I'll give you ten to one I was there as well, bound in the cerement of faint rain's chill vigil.

    10 Today

  • Fallen, she was now the ghost, dressed in cerement cloth, as vacant as the Mary Celeste.

    mordicai: crown me king!

  • Spiritual bodies are subject to a process of refinement and decay; and the soul, as the winged butterfly to which it is likened, throws off its cerement and assumes a new form.

    Strange Visitors

  • This was at once both good and bad for the little Emperor, good because it made the bursting of his cerement easy, bad because it made the drying of his wings slow.

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" Studies of Animal life and Character

  • And then again I saw it lying very quietly in the clutch of a bitter winter -- an awful hush upon it, and the white cerement of the snow flung across its face.

    The River and I

  • "The time is not far distant," he said in a letter to John Adams, "at which we are to repose in the same cerement our sorrows and suffering bodies, and to ascend in essence to an ecstatic meeting with the friends we have loved and lost, and whom we shall love and never lose again."

    History of the University of Virginia, 1819-1919

  • The moonlight gleamed on the high-pitched red roof, and drenched the garden in whiteness, but the mist which rose from the waters of the moat swathed the walls of the house like a cerement.

    The Hand in the Dark

  • In due time, to this came his answer, tragic in its brevity, terrible in its attempt to say nothing -- so that its stiff cerement of formality seemed to crack with every written word and its platitudes split open under the fierce straining of the living and unwritten words beneath them.

    Athalie

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