ini·​ti·​a·​tion | \i-ˌni-shē-ˈā-shən \

Definition of initiation 

1a : the act or an instance of initiating

b : the process of being initiated

c : the rites, ceremonies, ordeals, or instructions with which one is made a member of a sect or society or is invested with a particular function or status

2 : the condition of being initiated into some experience or sphere of activity : knowledgeableness

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Examples of initiation in a Sentence

his initiation as a member of the club crimes committed as part of gang initiations the initiation of judicial proceedings
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Recent Examples on the Web

Alterboyz practices slow, patient improv while Wet Bus speeds through its set with quick wit, rapid physicality shifts, and bold scene initiations. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "The two improv teams in Oh Hell Yeah demonstrate that timing is everything," 22 June 2018 While this data is encouraging, efforts to curb smoking initiation among youth face a new threat. Brian Jenssen Md,, "The problem with kids and flavored tobacco," 21 June 2018 Red shoelaces hung from both rearview mirrors, a symbol Roberts said is used by the Ku Klux Klan for intimidation and initiation into the organization. Bryce Airgood, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan activist's truck vandalized with N-word, 'WITE PRIDE'," 19 June 2018 Sometimes women are forced into the gangs themselves, subjected to violent initiations that can comprise rape, beatings and murder. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Gangs in El Salvador are using women's bodies for 'revenge and control'," 14 June 2018 Switch to Spotify, and Siri can't be used for song search or initiation, only playback and volume controls. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "Sonos's New Soundbar Points to a Voice-Enabled Future," 6 June 2018 Call this season Jakob Junis’ initiation into the major leagues. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Jakob Junis helps Royals end five-game skid with win over Yankees | The Kansas City Star," 18 May 2018 The rain cells were most vigorous at the initiation point, near Frederick; the baseball-size hail that also fell there is testimony to the strength of those updrafts. Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, "Anatomy of Tuesday’s devastating flash flood in Frederick," 16 May 2018 The most common way to check patients' blood alcohol levels is a breathalyzer, but the devices are bulky, not that accurate, and require patient initiation, according to Hall. Healthday,, "Skin sensor may someday track alcoholics' booze intake," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'initiation.' 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 initiation

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for initiation

Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for initiation

The first known use of initiation was in 1583

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More Definitions for initiation



English Language Learners Definition of initiation

: the process of being formally accepted as a member of a group or organization : the process of being initiated

: a ceremony or series of actions that makes a person a member of a group or organization

: the act of starting something : the beginning of something


ini·​ti·​a·​tion | \i-ˌni-shē-ˈā-shən \

Kids Definition of initiation

1 : the act or an instance of initiating : the process of being initiated the initiation of treatment initiation into the club

2 : the ceremonies with which a person is admitted into a club

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