in·​au·​gu·​rate i-ˈnȯ-gyə-ˌrāt How to pronounce inaugurate (audio)
inaugurated; inaugurating

transitive verb

: to induct into an office with suitable ceremonies
: to dedicate ceremoniously : observe formally the beginning of
inaugurate a new school
: to bring about the beginning of
inaugurator noun
Choose the Right Synonym for inaugurate

begin, commence, start, initiate, inaugurate, usher in mean to take the first step in a course, process, or operation.

begin, start, and commence are often interchangeable.

begin, opposed to end, is the most general.

begin a trip
began dancing

start, opposed to stop, applies especially to first actions, steps, or stages.

the work started slowly

commence can be more formal or bookish than begin or start.

commence firing
commenced a conversation

initiate implies taking a first step in a process or series that is to continue.

initiated diplomatic contacts

inaugurate suggests a beginning of some formality or notion of significance.

the discovery of penicillin inaugurated a new era in medicine

usher in is somewhat less weighty than inaugurate.

ushered in a period of economic decline

Examples of inaugurate in a Sentence

They inaugurated the new headquarters with a brief ceremony. inaugurated the college's athletic program for women
Recent Examples on the Web This week, Alaska will inaugurate daily, year-round service to Miami and resume its seasonal hop to Bend, Oregon, on Thanksgiving Day. Stella Shon, Travel + Leisure, 13 Nov. 2023 To inaugurate the summer 1962 opening of Ceeje Gallery a couple of blocks up from Ferus and across the street on La Cienega, two doors down from Romaine Avenue, the gifted Roberto Chavez painted a disarming group portrait of the four participating artists. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 In November, the National Gallery will inaugurate an annual Corcoran lecture series, with a talk by Corcoran former chief curator Philip Brookman on the photography of Dorothea Lange. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2023 The allure of aloha as a slogan only grew after 1959, the year that Hawaii became a state and Pan American Airways inaugurated jet travel to Honolulu — part of a campaign by state leaders to reduce economic dependence on plantations by expanding tourism. Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times, 19 Oct. 2023 One approach involves developing specific protocols for brief, recurring check-ups with frequent callers, Madelyn Gould, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University whose research informed the 2020 law inaugurating 988, told ABC News. Eli Cahan, ABC News, 10 Oct. 2023 The world’s longest-running motoring event, inaugurated in 1896 and admitting cars built before 1905, is a reminder of just how far the automobile has come since its early days. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 9 Oct. 2023 His first act after being inaugurated was to silently salute the slain leader’s statue outside the presidential palace. Pamela Constable, Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2023 This comes just a few months after Apple inaugurated the age of spatial computing by announcing that its Vision Pro headset would blur digital content with real life. WIRED, 3 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inaugurate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin inauguratus, past participle of inaugurare, literally, to practice augury, from in- + augurare to augur; from the rites connected with augury

First Known Use

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of inaugurate was in 1606

Dictionary Entries Near inaugurate

Cite this Entry

“Inaugurate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​au·​gu·​rate in-ˈȯ-g(y)ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce inaugurate (audio)
inaugurated; inaugurating
: to introduce into office with suitable ceremonies : install
inaugurate a president
: to celebrate the opening of
inaugurate a new gym
: to bring into being or action
inaugurate a new plan
inaugurator noun

More from Merriam-Webster on inaugurate

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