tradition

noun
tra·​di·​tion | \ trə-ˈdi-shən How to pronounce tradition (audio) \

Definition of tradition

1a : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (such as a religious practice or a social custom)
b : a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable … the bulk of traditions attributed to the Prophet …— J. L. Esposito
2 : the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
3 : cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions
4 : characteristic manner, method, or style in the best liberal tradition

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tradition

traditionless \ trə-​ˈdi-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce traditionless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tradition in a Sentence

One of our town's time-honored traditions is to have an Easter egg hunt the week before Easter. It is their tradition to give thanks before they start eating. There's an office tradition of wearing casual clothes on Fridays. They no longer follow the traditions of their ancestors. We broke with tradition and had goose for Thanksgiving instead of turkey. By tradition, the celebration begins at midnight. They no longer follow tradition. According to tradition, the goddess lies sleeping beneath the mountain.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web In addition to the Livestock Show and Auction, Humble ISD FFA hosts Special Kids Day, a tradition that began more than 25 years ago. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Livestock show serves as Humble Rodeo opener on Jan. 20," 13 Jan. 2020 Last year marked the Academy’s first break with hosting tradition. Anika Reed, USA TODAY, "Oscars 2020: How to watch the nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards live," 13 Jan. 2020 Bloomberg, 77, has eschewed tradition by entering the race late, forgoing attempts to make the debate stage, spending big out of his personal account, and focusing on the later states in an attempt to gain the 2020 Democratic nomination. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "Small showing for Bloomberg rally with Judge Judy despite campaign's big spending," 12 Jan. 2020 The unmarried Sultan Qaboos had no children and did not publicly name an heir, a tradition among the ruling Al Said dynasty whose history is replete with bloody takeovers. Time, "Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, Who Modernized Oman, Dies at 79," 11 Jan. 2020 The unmarried Sultan Qaboos had no children and did not publicly name an heir, a tradition among the ruling Al Said dynasty whose history is replete with bloody takeovers. NBC News, "Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who modernized Oman, dies at 79," 11 Jan. 2020 The self-governing tradition is slowly being replaced by a catch-me-if-you-can attitude. Jill Martin And Rob Hodgetts, CNN, "Patrick Reed's lawyer warns Golf Channel analyst to stop alleging his client 'cheated'," 11 Jan. 2020 Samuel regularly called the Hodge family via FaceTime on game days in college and has carried that tradition into his first NFL season. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "49ers’ Deebo Samuel ‘fearless’ and productive in NFL debut season," 10 Jan. 2020 When things got serious between us our families prioritized tradition on both sides, and have always supported us. New York Times, "Adding a Wedding to the Highlight Reel," 10 Jan. 2020

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

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

History and Etymology for tradition

Middle English tradicioun, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French tradicion, from Latin tradition-, traditio action of handing over, tradition — more at treason

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tradition

Time Traveler for tradition

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for tradition

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tradition.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tradition. Accessed 20 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tradition

tradition

noun
How to pronounce tradition (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tradition

: a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc., for a long time
: the stories, beliefs, etc., that have been part of the culture of a group of people for a long time
used to say that someone has qualities which are like the qualities of another well-known person or group of people from the past

tradition

noun
tra·​di·​tion | \ trə-ˈdi-shən How to pronounce tradition (audio) \

Kids Definition of tradition

1 : the handing down of information, beliefs, or customs from one generation to another
2 : a belief or custom handed down from one generation to another

tradition

noun
tra·​di·​tion

Legal Definition of tradition

in the civil law of Louisiana : transfer or acquisition of property especially by delivery with intent of both parties to transfer the title delivery of the act of transfer or use of the right by the owner of the dominant estate constitutes traditionLouisiana Civil Code

History and Etymology for tradition

French, legal transfer

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on tradition

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not to be intimidated or subdued

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!