ini·​ti·​a·​tion | \ i-ˌni-shē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce initiation (audio) \

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 Foltz, 20, a sophomore at Bowling Green State University and a new member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, was allegedly hazed Thursday during an initiation event when he was made to drink alcohol, school officials said. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, "Ohio college student dies after alleged hazing incident," 8 Mar. 2021 Oakes' family told CNN affiliate WWBT that the student -- who was an only child -- had been offered a bid to join the Delta Chi fraternity and had gone to a party Friday night to begin the initiation process. Melissa Alonso, CNN, "A Virginia Commonwealth University fraternity has been suspended after the death of a 19-year-old student," 2 Mar. 2021 Even worse, the Miami Herald did some digging and found that while the date on the cosmetics recall page states the product recalls were posted as of February 11th, the actual recall initiation date was January 7th. Mike Wehner, BGR, "If you have any of this hand soap, throw it out," 25 Feb. 2021 Twitter account posted video of the Gita robot in action after the program's initiation. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "Philadelphia airport begins delivering food via robot," 23 Feb. 2021 It’s this darker side of sports that turns it into a breeding ground for hazing, initiation rituals that older players use to belittle and humiliate junior teammates. Emma Brown, Washington Post, "We can’t solve the problem of violence against girls and women without also addressing violence against men and boys.," 22 Feb. 2021 Unlike torque vectoring that brands like Acura use to send more or less power to the wheels to assist with turning, Mazda’s system reduces power from the engine at turn initiation. Louis Mazzante, Popular Mechanics, "Mazda’s CX-30 Turbo Now Has Power to Go With Its Value," 9 Feb. 2021 Afghanistan is tormented by a brutal war between the government and the insurgents of the Taliban, which has intensified over the past year despite the initiation of peace talks between the two sides. The Economist, "Vanity at war Plastic surgery is thriving in Afghanistan—to the outrage of some," 13 Mar. 2021 Drug-pushing provides his initiation to the spoils of capitalism, though, ironically, his clients are all champagne Marxists prone to offering defenses of Pol Pot. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: ‘The Committed’ Review," 5 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for initiation

Time Traveler

The first known use of initiation was in 1583

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Statistics for initiation

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Initiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce initiation (audio) \

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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