ritualistic

adjective

rit·​u·​al·​is·​tic ˌri-chə-wə-ˈli-stik How to pronounce ritualistic (audio)
-chə-ˈli-;
ˌrich-wə-
1
: of, in accordance with, or characterized by the use of ritual: such as
a
: relating to or done as a ceremony or rite
a ritualistic dance
For Rick, the clincher came in 2001, when he discovered 20 identical trumpets, made from a type of conch shell … . The trumpets were highly decorated, indicating a ritualistic use.Michael Brooks
Ritualistic language (such as the oyez, oyez, oyez or hear ye, hear ye, hear ye that opens a court session) separates legal proceedings from ordinary life, marking them as being special and important.Peter Tiersma
b
: done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol
Bush made the ritualistic visits to polling places, making a last-minute bid for support in this intense and important contest.Jeanne Meserve
c
: of, relating to, or being an act or series of acts regularly repeated in a set precise manner
The repetitive nature of online tasks—checking e-mail, searching for data, sending replies—has a soothing, ritualistic quality … .Maia Szalavitz
2
: stressing the use of ritual forms : adhering to or devoted to ritualism
We can look at Stonehenge not only to envision the ancient, ritualistic people who built it, but also to imagine a version of ourselves closer to nature … according to Wisser.Jed Oelbaum
ritualistically
ˌri-chə-wə-ˈli-sti-k(ə-)lē How to pronounce ritualistic (audio)
-chə-ˈli-;
ˌrich-wə-
adverb

Examples of ritualistic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Instead, this is a harrowing psychodrama that explores ritualistic child killings that allegedly overtook Europe in the 18th century as women’s reprieve from the bottomless pit of despair. Ryan Lattanzio, IndieWire, 28 June 2024 Enlarge / Three female skeletons found in a Neolithic storage pit in France show signs of ritualistic human sacrifice. . Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 17 Apr. 2024 Each ritualistic effort to bring the Fantastic Four to movies ends in a cinematic calamity. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 3 Apr. 2024 Modern coffee makers prioritize convenience over more ritualistic coffee making techniques. Quentyn Kennemer, The Verge, 5 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for ritualistic 

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

1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ritualistic was in 1844

Dictionary Entries Near ritualistic

Cite this Entry

“Ritualistic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ritualistic. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

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