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

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
Recent Examples on the Web His parents told The Times that players who did not participate in the initiation rite were ostracized and sometimes had their lockers soaked in urine. Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2022 His father, Aurvandil War-Raven (Ethan Hawke), is a pretty fun dad for a warrior chieftain, turning Amleth’s initiation ceremony into a night of silly, flatulent horseplay. New York Times, 21 Apr. 2022 Ifa a West African spiritual system that requires a special initiation. Meagan Jordan, Rolling Stone, 17 Apr. 2022 Two additional approaches that can assist in reducing the manual initiation phase are analyzing behavior patterns of the users and analyzing user interface (UI) elements. Gil Sever, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 Guenther: One is an initiation circuit and the other is an articulation circuit. Karen Hopkin, Scientific American, 13 Apr. 2022 The story is simple — too simple, alas: Puny prince Amleth eagerly welcomes his father, Viking king Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke), back from battle, undergoing an initiation ceremony that will set him on course to rule the tribe one day. Peter Debruge, Variety, 11 Apr. 2022 Amleth’s transcendental initiation involves crawling around on all fours underground with his father, howling like wolves. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Apr. 2022 The incident may have been Bourgoin’s initiation into the power of secret lives. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of initiation

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for initiation

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The first known use of initiation was in 1583

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Dictionary Entries Near initiation



initiation rite

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Initiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for initiation


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

More from Merriam-Webster on initiation

Nglish: Translation of initiation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of initiation for Arabic Speakers


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