in·​au·​gu·​ral | \ i-ˈnȯ-gyə-rəl How to pronounce inaugural (audio) , -g(ə-)rəl \

Definition of inaugural

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to an inauguration
2 : marking a beginning : first in a projected series



Definition of inaugural (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an inaugural address

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Examples of inaugural in a Sentence

Adjective They attended the inaugural ball. the inaugural event in the city's week long festival honoring the sailing ships Noun attended the inaugurals of the city's last three mayors
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The UIndy Greyhounds entered the 2017 season after a six-win 2016 campaign, their lowest win total since coach Bob Bartolomeo's inaugural season. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "Overlooked but undeterred, UIndy's Al McKeller on cusp of breaking school's rushing record," 31 Mar. 2021 LouCity played its inaugural season in 2015, and in its six seasons of existence has won two USL championships (2017, 2018), won its conference another year (2019) and reached the conferencefinals in the other three seasons. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "Is Louisville City FC evaluating an MLS future? ‘Nothing has changed’," 24 Mar. 2021 The Cruise will play their inaugural season this fall at a new arena being constructed on Wayne State's campus. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy leaves to run Detroit Pistons' new G League team," 17 Mar. 2021 Houston lost its 17th straight game, tying the franchise record by the San Diego Rockets in the team’s inaugural 1967-68 season. Chron, "Rockets drop 17th straight game with loss to Hawks," 16 Mar. 2021 Despite a disappointing inaugural season last year, Higuaín believes in the infrastructure of what’s being built in South Florida — and playing with his younger brother, Inter Miami forward Gonzalo Higuaín, doesn’t hurt. Khobi Price,, "Inter Miami’s Federico Higuaín grateful for preseason camp in what could be last season in MLS," 12 Mar. 2021 While the Australian Football League men's competition was founded in 1896, the women's inaugural season didn't kick off until 2017. Becky Thompson, CNN, "Frisbee and oval ball star Cat Phillips fired up by fight for gender equality," 11 Mar. 2021 The second incarnation of the XFL was halfway through its inaugural 10-game season in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic caused the spring football league to suspend play. Mark Inabinett |, al, "XFL, CFL to see ‘where our shared passion takes us’," 10 Mar. 2021 But the Empire didn’t start the inaugural season as the best team in the world either. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "‘When they smell blood they go for it’: Atlanta FaZe crush Dallas Empire in first CDL major championship 5-2," 8 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Wednesday ceremony that installed Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. as the 46th president of the United States and Kamala Devi Harris as vice president was more than an inaugural. Star Tribune, "On historic day, democracy prevails," 20 Jan. 2021 Another precedent for the Editorial Board's position encouraging an indoor inauguration is the relatively recent second inaugural of Ronald Reagan. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Inauguration Day, Trump and impeachment, icy roads," 18 Jan. 2021 Trump exited the stage stealthily and was the first living president in over 150 years not to attend the inaugural. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, "What stood out in President Biden's inaugural address? Our panel weighs in," 21 Jan. 2021 In his first inaugural, Washington referred to Psalm 82. Stuart Halpern, WSJ, "God at the Inauguration," 21 Jan. 2021 Sisters Sylvia Luna, 43, and Norma Luna, 49, both teachers in Killeen, Texas, stood on the state Capitol steps in Austin to watch the inaugural on their cellphones. Los Angeles Times, "For some Americans, Biden-Harris inauguration reassures: ‘We’re going to be OK’," 20 Jan. 2021 Due to extreme weather, Ronald Reagan's second inaugural inside the Senate in 1985. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Six norm-busting inaugurations that paved the way for Biden's," 14 Jan. 2021 Most of Minnesota's congressional delegation will attend the inaugural. Jim Spencer, Star Tribune, "Nation's capital city locks down in advance of Biden's inauguration," 16 Jan. 2021 The last time an inaugural was radically changed was in 1985, for former President Ronald Reagan’s second. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "COVID hangs over inauguration. Biden considers ‘virtual’ swearing-in," 2 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inaugural.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inaugural


1689, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for inaugural

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The first known use of inaugural was in 1689

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Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inaugural.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for inaugural



English Language Learners Definition of inaugural

: happening as part of an official ceremony or celebration when someone (such as a newly elected official) begins an important job : happening as part of an inauguration
: happening as the first one in a series of similar events


in·​au·​gu·​ral | \ i-ˈnȯ-gyə-rəl How to pronounce inaugural (audio) \

Kids Definition of inaugural

: occurring as part of an inauguration an inaugural speech

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