initiate

verb
ini·​ti·​ate | \ i-ˈni-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce initiate (audio) \
initiated; initiating

Definition of initiate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cause or facilitate the beginning of : set going initiate a program of reform enzymes that initiate fermentation
2 : to induct into membership by or as if by special rites
3 : to instruct in the rudiments or principles of something : introduce

initiate

noun
ini·​tiate | \ i-ˈni-sh(ē-)ət How to pronounce initiate (audio) \

Definition of initiate (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a person who is undergoing or has undergone an initiation
2 : a person who is instructed or adept in some special field

initiate

adjective
ini·​tiate | \ i-ˈni-sh(ē-)ət How to pronounce initiate (audio) \

Definition of initiate (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : initiated or properly admitted (as to membership or an office)
b : instructed in some secret knowledge
2 obsolete : relating to an initiate

Other Words from initiate

Verb

initiator \ i-​ˈni-​shē-​ˌā-​tər How to pronounce initiate (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for initiate

Verb

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 initiate in a Sentence

Verb Doctors have initiated a series of tests to determine the cause of the problem. The company initiated judicial proceedings against them. The new recruits will be initiated tomorrow night. He was initiated into a secret society. Noun These secrets are known only to a small group of initiates.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The video game that was utilized for rehabilitation, Recovery Rapids, relies upon a motion sensor and real life movement in order to initiate the movement of a character in the game. Jocelyn Solis-moreira, Health.com, 6 Apr. 2022 Although this may be more difficult to execute from a remote working standpoint, ignoring the problem of phishing could initiate a successful attack that will turn customers away—the upfront work is more than worth your time. Keven Knight, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Through the use of high-resolution video cameras, the scientists found these spiders initiate their catapult maneuver by folding their front legs against the female. NBC News, 25 Apr. 2022 The building momentum behind ALU and organizers’ rights has labor leaders subtly eyeing one another over who can establish the strongest relationship with Smalls, and who can initiate Amazon organizing campaigns on their own. Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2022 Once it is approved, Dr. Graf says that Aquavit will initiate a long-term phase II clinical trial. Allure, 20 Apr. 2022 Then, there is the reintroduction of triggers, stimuli of many kinds that initiate anxious, obsessive thoughts, said Jelani Daniel, a therapist based in Houston. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 14 Apr. 2022 With the default Apple Watch hand gestures, there are four actions users can initiate. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 12 Apr. 2022 State law allows a landlord to initiate an eviction as soon as five days after a tenant misses rent, and the tenant is typically locked out within three weeks of filing. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 20 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Republicans in Georgia this year passed legislation to let the Georgia Bureau of Investigation initiate probes into alleged election wrongdoing. CBS News, 11 Apr. 2022 Republicans in Georgia this year passed legislation to let the Georgia Bureau of Investigation initiate probes into alleged election wrongdoing. CBS News, 11 Apr. 2022 Republicans in Georgia this year passed legislation to let the Georgia Bureau of Investigation initiate probes into alleged election wrongdoing. CBS News, 11 Apr. 2022 Republicans in Georgia this year passed legislation to let the Georgia Bureau of Investigation initiate probes into alleged election wrongdoing. Kate Brumback, ajc, 9 Apr. 2022 The subject of the investigation is not a member of this fraternity and was never an initiate of this Chapter. Amanda Musa, CNN, 2 Feb. 2022 The initiate’s running or racing abilities represent strength and fortitude, with the length of her run believed to predict the quality and longevity of her life. Outside Online, 27 Jan. 2021 On research trips in Brazil, Cuba and Nigeria, he was known to exchange his J. Press madras shorts for the robes of an initiate into tribal religious societies. New York Times, 12 Dec. 2021 Scambos said this crusty layer will also be a barrier that prevents the downward draining of melt water, which will then flood the surface of the ice sheet and initiate run off at higher elevations. Rachel Ramirez, CNN, 19 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Keep your knees straight and initiate from the ankle. Perri O. Blumberg, Men's Health, 3 May 2022 The contractor has been adding staff in preparation to re-initiate construction. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 According to Watley, an expert instructor will present a presentation and initiate dialogue in a question-and-answer session. Eplunus Colvin, Arkansas Online, 30 Jan. 2022 This signal could also do something more — which is initiate idle fees for cars that are full or beyond the maximum charging time. Brad Templeton, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 Androgens are involved in the onset of puberty and initiate hair growth in the underarms and pubic areas. Emilia Benton, Health.com, 27 Sep. 2021 Dialectic will conduct a first-in-human phase 1 dose-escalation study and initiate phase 2 studies. Dallas News, 20 Aug. 2021 Attacks in Vienna and Dresden in the last year have shown that the group still has the capacity to inspire and initiate acts of ruthless terror abroad. Sirwan Barzani, CNN, 19 Aug. 2021 Families can pay thousands of dollars and initiate lawsuits, all based on reports that turn out to be flawed. New York Times, 8 July 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of initiate

Verb

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1811, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for initiate

Verb

Late Latin initiatus, past participle of initiare, from Latin, to induct, from initium

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Time Traveler for initiate

Time Traveler

The first known use of initiate was in 1533

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Dictionary Entries Near initiate

initial teaching alphabet

initiate

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Statistics for initiate

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Initiate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/initiate. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for initiate

initiate

verb
ini·​ti·​ate | \ i-ˈni-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce initiate (audio) \
initiated; initiating

Kids Definition of initiate

1 : to set going : begin Scientists initiated an experiment.
2 : to admit into a club by special ceremonies
3 : to teach (someone) the basic facts about something She was initiated into the management of money.

More from Merriam-Webster on initiate

Nglish: Translation of initiate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of initiate for Arabic Speakers

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