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

Colonists paid an initiation fee, a membership fee and monthly dues and in return would get five acres and a house and the use of community property, such as horses, wagons and agricultural machinery. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Olivenhain: Upscale community prizes its rural atmosphere," 27 June 2019 Percussive dance routines, known as stepping, are an important part of social life within African-American fraternities, including celebrations to mark the initiation of new members. Paul Newberry, The Seattle Times, "Police: Late Georgia Tech player collapsed in dance routine," 30 Mar. 2019 Can Do Canines has grown to the largest service dog provider in the state, providing more than 650 service dogs since the company’s initiation 30 years ago. Molly Korzenowski, Twin Cities, "Farmington assistant principal hopes to raise $25,000 for service dogs during marathon," 19 June 2019 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

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

12 Jul 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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