\ 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 Eric Clapton’s moody sincerity was a sacred rite, his means of communing with the spirit of Robert Johnson. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Van Halen’s Sound of Sex," 6 Oct. 2020 None of us can be sure now that the precious rite and process will ever be restored. Roger Angell, The New Yorker, "The Children’s Hour," 30 Sep. 2020 Carminati and a fellow priest recited the rite of the dead, with a Psalm and Scripture reading, and gave each coffin a final benediction and blessing with holy water. Maria Grazia Murru And Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, "At virus milestone, Italian priest reflects on loss, lessons," 30 Sep. 2020 My first rite-of-passage experience as an amateur reporter came when I was assigned a story about the soccer team. John J. Miller, National Review, "Thank You, Mr. Hartwig," 17 Sep. 2020 The roots of the Aztec Indigenous rite, also known as Mexica and Chichimeca, include traditions from prior to Spanish colonization and Christian traditions from colonial Mexico. Laura Rodríguez Presa, chicagotribune.com, "The power of Indigenous rituals: Aztec and African ancestral dancers join forces to bridge Lawndale, Little Village neighborhoods," 9 Sep. 2020 Not New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, not after the way the past two seasons ended in a way that made the simple act of playing a game in stifling heat more an uncertainty than a rite. Luke Johnson, NOLA.com, "Saints DT Sheldon Rankins is chasing who he used to be — and something more," 22 Aug. 2020 Or his cousin from Pueblo who always comes up to celebrate the rite of spring. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Keeler: What does a Rockies fan who’s been to every opening day since 1993 do when there isn’t one?," 2 Apr. 2020 Now, reports Ruth Schuster for Haaretz, archaeologists have identified traces of this ancient funerary rite as the Near East’s earliest evidence of cremation. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Humans in the Near East Cremated Their Dead 9,000 Years Ago," 17 Aug. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rite

Last Updated

11 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rite. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for rite


How to pronounce rite (audio)

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

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