initiation rite


plural initiation rites
: an act or ritual that a person must perform in order to be officially recognized as having joined a group or organization or as having achieved a new status (such as adulthood)
It's an initiation rite performed whenever a ship crosses the equator; sailors who have not yet crossed that line … undergo a hazing ritual conducted by those who have ….Jamie Malanowski
The plumes of some of the birds are of great value to New Guineans. The most prominent plumes are worn in traditional headdresses during "sing-sings"—festivals related to feast days, initiations rites or marriage ceremonies.Bruce Beehler
In a booze-sodden initiation rite, his Phi Kappa Psi brothers allegedly forced him to down more than half a bottle of rum …Colleen O'Connor et al.
compare rite of passage

Examples of initiation rite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Franklin famously avoided air conditioning while touring, seeking to protect her voice, and Smith’s sweaty reaction was like an initiation rite. Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press, 10 Mar. 2024 These more coherent processes involve initiation rites, manifestos, leaders, and a chain of command that guide beliefs and actions. Cynthia Miller-Idriss, Foreign Affairs, 3 Jan. 2022 Locker Room Culture Locker rooms have long been the setting for initiation rites that can cross a line into hazing. Billy Witz, New York Times, 28 July 2023 The process is anxiety provoking and enthralling—a medical school initiation rite with almost religious overtones. National Geographic, 13 Jan. 2023 However, here the greatest innovation with the legend was to transform it into the centerpiece of an initiation rite, the northern equivalent of a snipe hunt. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Oct. 2022 John Trengove’s searing 2017 debut, The Wound, explored the complex world of Xhosa masculinity via adolescent initiation rites that exposed thorny conflicts of sexuality and personal identity. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Feb. 2023 Police contended the Black Panther party had orchestrated the ambush as an initiation rite for new members. Jacques Kelly, Baltimore Sun, 19 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'initiation rite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1807, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of initiation rite was in 1807

Dictionary Entries Near initiation rite

Cite this Entry

“Initiation rite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

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