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noun tra·di·tion \trə-ˈdi-shən\

Simple Definition of tradition

  • : a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc., for a long time

  • : the stories, beliefs, etc., that have been part of the culture of a group of people for a long time

  • —used to say that someone has qualities which are like the qualities of another well-known person or group of people from the past

Full Definition of tradition

  1. 1a :  an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)b :  a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable

  2. 2 :  the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction

  3. 3 :  cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions

  4. 4 :  characteristic manner, method, or style <in the best liberal tradition>

tra·di·tion·al play \-ˈdish-nəl, -ˈdi-shə-nəl\ adjective
tra·di·tion·al·ly adverb
tra·di·tion·less play \-ˈdi-shən-ləs\ adjective

Examples of tradition

  1. One of our town's time-honored traditions is to have an Easter egg hunt the week before Easter.

  2. It is their tradition to give thanks before they start eating.

  3. There's an office tradition of wearing casual clothes on Fridays.

  4. They no longer follow the traditions of their ancestors.

  5. We broke with tradition and had goose for Thanksgiving instead of turkey.

  6. By tradition, the celebration begins at midnight.

  7. They no longer follow tradition.

  8. According to tradition, the goddess lies sleeping beneath the mountain.

Origin of tradition

Middle English tradicioun, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French tradicion, from Latin tradition-, traditio action of handing over, tradition — more at treason

First Known Use: 14th century

TRADITION Defined for Kids


noun tra·di·tion \trə-ˈdi-shən\

Definition of tradition

  1. 1 :  the handing down of information, beliefs, or customs from one generation to another

  2. 2 :  a belief or custom handed down from one generation to another

Seen and Heard

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February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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