Definition of initiate in English:


Syllabification: in·i·ti·ate


Pronunciation: /iˈniSHēˌāt
[with object]
  • 2Admit (someone) into a secret or obscure society or group, typically with a ritual: she had been formally initiated into the sorority
    More example sentences
    • It was like being initiated into some secret society being taken to it.
    • Rennie, whose grandfather and father were both members, was initiated into the society when he was just 15.
    • She had been initiated into the secrets at the age of sixteen and told of their goals and their reason for existence.
  • 2.1 (as plural noun the initiated) A small group of people who share obscure knowledge: he flies over an airway marker beacon, known as a “fix” to the initiated
    More example sentences
    • They introduce rules of engagement and silly words to enhance a sense of self-importance among the initiated.
    • They are a mark of respect and accomplishment, which only the initiated truly appreciate.
    • The rules are simple to the initiated, mind-boggling to the novice.
  • 2.2 (initiate someone in/into) Introduce someone to (a particular activity or skill), especially a difficult or obscure one: they were initiated into the mysteries of trigonometry
    More example sentences
    • As they become better acquainted, Snow Flower initiates Lily into a system of code-writing used solely between women.
    • I had been working as an overseer of cattle for a few weeks and had spent the last few days initiating her into her new role.
    • It was he who initiated Bensemann into the dark art of English dancing.
    teach about, instruct in, tutor in, school in, prime in, ground in; familiarize with, acquaint with; indoctrinate
    informal show someone the ropes in/within


Pronunciation: /iˈniSHēit
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Pronunciation: /-əˌtôrē/
More example sentences
  • Before explaining some of the events that I witnessed and participated in while in this performance space I would like to return and examine the temporal states of this initiatory experience.
  • You need to take certain oaths, read prescribed texts, pass tests, and undergo initiatory rites.
  • In that great initiatory arc of my life, I stood, in a wedding reception line facing the great archetypal losses: death of a loved one, end of an affair, and passage from youth to - what?


mid 16th century ( sense 2 of the verb): from Latin initiat- 'begun', from the verb initiare, from initium 'beginning'.

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grotesque quality or grotesque things collectively