rite

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The rite ended with the high priest giving the royal cheek the hardest possible slap. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "New Year, Old Regrets," 28 Dec. 2018 There’s all these magic rites that are going on around this, which makes this cemetery so fascinating. Kristine Phillips, The Seattle Times, "Archaeologists find ‘vampire burial’ site of a child feared capable of rising from the dead," 26 Oct. 2018 At Calvary Lutheran Church, 16151 Old Frederick Road in Woodbine, 13 young people have just experienced that rite. Kerry Plummer, baltimoresun.com, "Congregation at Calvary Lutheran celebrates confirmations [Marriottsville/Sykesville/Woodstock]," 10 May 2018 The certificate doesn't entitle them to cast out demons, per say: that rite is reserved for priests, with a license of their bishop's permission. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Can You Get An Exorcism From a Catholic Priest Over the Phone?," 21 Apr. 2018 The festival has become a rite of spring that dates back to the mid-19th century in Louisville when residents would celebrate the end of winter by drinking bock, a dark lager, which would age in the cold for all that time. Bobby Shipman, The Courier-Journal, "Springtime in NuLu means craft beer and goat races, apparently. We're not kid-ding!," 31 Mar. 2018 The service will be based on the burial rite of the Episcopal Chruch's Book of Common Prayer. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Who Is Bishop Michael Curry?," 5 Dec. 2018 Both Prince Charles and Prince William underwent the rite in the former's white-and-gold music room, according to the New York Times. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The Royal Christening Quiz You Have to Take Before Prince Louis's Baptism," 8 July 2018 The usual rites of courtship happened at warp speed, magnified by Grande and Davidson’s visibility and collective wealth. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "What will become of the engagement ring Pete Davidson gave Ariana Grande?," 15 Oct. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rite

Statistics for rite

Last Updated

22 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rite

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rite

rite

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rite

: an act that is part of a usually religious ceremony

rite

noun
\ ˈrīt How to pronounce rite (audio) \

Kids Definition of rite

: an act performed in a ceremony

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rite

Spanish Central: Translation of rite

Nglish: Translation of rite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rite for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rite

Comments on rite

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!