funerary, funeral, funereal
Funerary is the standard adjective in the neutral meaning ‘of or used at a funeral or funerals’, as in funerary ashes, funerary urn, etc. It dates from the late 17c and has replaced funeral, which was originally an adjective but became predominantly a noun from the 16c onwards (in uses such as funeral expenses and funeral rites it is a noun used attributively and not an adjective). Funereal, which is first recorded in 1725, has a special judgemental meaning ‘appropriate to a funeral’, either ‘deadly slow’ (like a funeral procession) or ‘gloomy, dreary, dismal’:

• Her mother and brother had departed to the kitchen from where Wexford could hear their muted whisperings and the funereally careful clink of cups —Ruth Rendell, 1981

• Even with Donald there, Aileen thought, the place had a funereal silence about it —C. F. Roe, 1992

• Outside the traffic is creeping through the city centre at a funereal pace —Mirror, 2005.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Funereal — Fu*ne re*al, a. [L. funereus, fr. fentus a funeral.] Suiting a funeral; pertaining to burial; solemn; as, at a funereal pace. Hence: Dark; dismal; mournful. Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] What seem to us but sad funereal tapers May be heaven s… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • funereal — index disconsolate, lugubrious, solemn Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • funereal — (adj.) 1725, from FUNERAL (Cf. funeral) by influence of M.Fr. funerail, from L. funereus of a funeral, from funus funeral; death …   Etymology dictionary

  • funereal — [adj] depressing black, bleak, dark, deathlike, dirgelike, disheartening, dismal, doleful, dreary, elegiac, gloomy, grave, grim, lamenting, lugubrious, melancholy, mournful, oppressive, sad, sepulchral, serious, solemn, somber, woeful; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • funereal — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having the sombre character appropriate to a funeral …   English terms dictionary

  • funereal — [fyoo nir′ē əl] adj. [< L funereus < funus (see FUNERAL) + AL] of or suitable for a funeral; esp., sad and solemn; gloomy; dismal funereally adv …   English World dictionary

  • funereal — [[t]fjuːnɪ͟əriəl[/t]] ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n A funereal tone, atmosphere, or colour is very sad and serious and would be suitable for a funeral. He addressed the group in funereal tones. Syn: solemn …   English dictionary

  • funereal — adjective 1) the funereal atmosphere Syn: somber, gloomy, mournful, melancholy, lugubrious, sepulchral, miserable, doleful, woeful, sad, sorrowful, cheerless, joyless, bleak, dismal, depressing, dreary; …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • funereal — fu•ne•re•al [[t]fyuˈnɪər i əl[/t]] adj. 1) of or suitable for a funeral: funereal black[/ex] 2) mournful; gloomy; dismal: a funereal atmosphere[/ex] • Etymology: 1715–25; < L fūnere(us) of, belonging to a funeral fu•ne′re•al•ly, adv …   From formal English to slang

  • funereal — funereally, adv. /fyooh near ee euhl/, adj. 1. of or suitable for a funeral. 2. mournful; gloomy; dismal: a funereal aloofness that was quite chilling. [1715 25; < L funere(us) of, belonging to a FUNERAL + AL1] * * * …   Universalium

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