rite of passage

noun

plural rites of passage
: a ritual, event, or experience that marks or constitutes a major milestone or change in a person's life
Rites of passage celebrate the social movement of individuals into and out of groups or into or out of statuses of critical importance to the individual and to the community. Reproduction, the achievement of manhood and womanhood, marriage, and death are the principal worldwide occasions for rites of passage.Marvin Harris
For them the two years of missionary work, with the rigorous bootcamp-style training preceding it, is a rite of passage between graduation and marriage, adolescence and adult life.Malise Ruthven
Today, when each year American society becomes more complex, a veritable tapestry of nationalities, the strongest of our common threads may well be the rites of passage all immigrants face.Harold Holzer
The author, grandson of the poet Allen Tate, dropped out of Sewanee University after going through the by-now familiar 1960's rite of passage of drugs, sex, and antiwar demonstrations …Caroline Seebohm
compare initiation rite

Examples of rite of passage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Shoving a beer can up a chicken’s rear end is a summertime rite of passage for serious grillers. The Editors, Field & Stream, 4 July 2024 Delving into policy is Abdallah Fayyad, who investigates that rite of passage — the summer job — and how recent changes to child labor laws might put working teens at risk. Vox Staff, Vox, 1 July 2024 Turner slipped one of the handwritten letters under the glass of their office desk, assuming such missives were a rite of passage for Democrats in a deep-red state. Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Washington Post, 15 June 2024 But what’s remarkable is that despite seismic shifts in our culture, watching these films still remains a rite of passage for so many teenagers now. Fiorella Valdesolo, Vogue, 12 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for rite of passage 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rite of passage.' 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

1897, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rite of passage was in 1897

Dictionary Entries Near rite of passage

Cite this Entry

“Rite of passage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rite%20of%20passage. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

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