\ ˈrīt How to pronounce rite (audio) \

Definition of rite

1a : a prescribed form or manner governing the words or actions for a ceremony
b : the ceremonial practices of a church or group of churches
2 : a ceremonial act or action initiation rites
3 : a division of the Christian church using a distinctive liturgy

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Examples of rite in a Sentence

Incense is often burned in their religious rites. the annual summer rite of loading up the car for the big family vacation
Recent Examples on the Web After taking last year off, Harley-Davidson rejoins with its six area dealerships for the annual Labor Day rite of music, rides and celebrations of all things Harley known as the Hometown Rally. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Sep. 2021 Though the monarch did not attend this year due to COVID restrictions, the annual rite traces back to the 12th century and is a beloved tradition for the Queen. Lanford Beard, PEOPLE.com, 23 Aug. 2021 The Wiffle ball tournament is a rite of summer in Vermont. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Aug. 2021 The days between Jerry Garcia’s birthday (Aug. 1) and death (Aug. 9, 1995 at the age of 53) have become an annual celebration rite for Deadheads, and this year is filled with Daze Between festivities online. Gary Graff, cleveland, 4 Aug. 2021 For the second year running, a hallowed rite for millions of people in Britain — decamping to the warmer climate of the Mediterranean — has been disrupted by the pandemic. New York Times, 16 Aug. 2021 Hendriks said baptisms have taken place in backyards with a vaccinated person performing the religious rite and local congregants participating via Zoom. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 July 2021 Francis will fly the following day to Kosice to celebrate a Byzantine rite Mass, meet with the country's Roma community and then its young people. Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, 21 July 2021 But in the last few months, the celebrations — a coming-of-age rite for Latina 15-year-olds — are back. Daric L. Cottingham, Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rite.' 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 rite

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rite

Middle English, from Latin ritus; akin to Greek arithmos number — more at arithmetic

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Time Traveler for rite

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The first known use of rite was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near rite



rite de passage

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Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rite. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for rite



English Language Learners Definition of rite

: an act that is part of a usually religious ceremony


\ ˈrīt How to pronounce rite (audio) \

Kids Definition of rite

: an act performed in a ceremony

More from Merriam-Webster on rite

Nglish: Translation of rite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rite for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rite


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