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

Sherwood Elementary School - Flexible seating will be available for students who need to manage executive functions like working memory, self-control, task initiation and attention. Houston Chronicle, "Spring Branch Education Foundation announces 2019 grants," 7 June 2019 My interest in maximum cubic capacities and automatic defrost cycles was not precipitated by a craving for Hungryman dinners or initiation into a doomsday cult. Sarah Karnasiewicz, WSJ, "Why Serious Cooks Are In Love With Frozen Food," 1 Feb. 2019 Later, Tall Boy walks Jughead through his Serpent initiation, but their friendly relationship pretty much ends there. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "OK, But Who The Heck is Tall Boy on "Riverdale"?," 24 Jan. 2019 The transformation marks Hathaway’s initiation into a club of famous Hollywood redheads who have embraced the fiery, eye-catching hue to spectacular effect. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Anne Hathaway Says Hello to Shocking Red Hair—and Goodbye to Girl-Next-Door Brunette," 21 Nov. 2018 Apple says its faulty logic boards may have been causing random restarts, screen freezes, and defective startup initiations that prevent the iPhone 8 from turning on properly. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Apple launches repair program for defective iPhone 8 logic boards," 31 Aug. 2018 Most, but not all, have occurred during fraternity initiation events. Kyle Spencer, New York Times, "Colleges and State Laws Are Clamping Down on Fraternities," 5 June 2018 Meantime, at the Quirinale, Italy’s presidential palace, Conte and 18 cabinet members were lining up for a ceremony that resembled any other government initiation in Rome. Chico Harlan, Washington Post, "As Italy’s populists take power, Europe is on edge," 1 June 2018 Between the Archie's prison fight club, Jughead's potentially poison-laced Gryfons & Gargoyles initiation, and all of the Farm madness (which may or may not be connected to G+G??), things were pretty bleak in Riverdale on Wednesday. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Including Jughead's dark suit, which may be hiding a sinister message.," 26 Oct. 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

14 Jun 2019

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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 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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Comments on initiation

What made you want to look up initiation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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