Definition of tradition in English:


Syllabification: tra·di·tion
Pronunciation: /trəˈdiSHən


  • 1The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way: every shade of color is fixed by tradition and governed by religious laws
    More example sentences
    • They are required to by tradition and tribal law passed down by generations of swing elders.
    • The break with tradition has generated a heated debate on Internet fans' forums over the weekend, with supporters divided on the proposed name change.
    • By definition, a legend is an unverified story handed down by tradition.
    historical convention, unwritten law, mores; oral history, lore, folklore
  • 1.1A long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way: Japan’s unique cultural traditions
    More example sentences
    • Basotho are a nation that has solid traditions, beliefs and customs.
    • Such a state of confusing dilemma caused heavy blow to the age-old traditions and beliefs of these cultures.
    • Passing on Hindu traditions to the younger generation has always been a duty of parents.
  • 1.2 [in singular] An artistic or literary method or style established by an artist, writer, or movement, and subsequently followed by others: visionary works in the tradition of William Blake
    More example sentences
    • But this Southerner first came into his own as a northern Expressionist in the tradition of Edvard Munch.
    • Cornelius's works, essentially linear in the tradition of Dürer, avoid painterly composition or colour.
    • In the tradition of folk artists everywhere, Nana taught her to sew and knit, instilling in her the sense of the art in the handcrafted.
  • 2 Theology A doctrine believed to have divine authority though not in the scriptures, in particular.
  • 2.1(In Christianity) doctrine not explicit in the Bible but held to derive from the oral teaching of Jesus and the Apostles.
    More example sentences
    • One conspicuous tradition within Christianity says boldly that people are saved only by and in faith in Jesus Christ.
    • They dictate that to be a Roman Catholic is to be loyal to the Pope and the institution alone, regardless of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the tradition of the Church.
    • First, though, let us review the ironic neglect of Spirit in our Western Christian tradition.
  • 2.2(In Judaism) an ordinance of the oral law not in the Torah but held to have been given by God to Moses.
    More example sentences
    • Jewish tradition emphasizes that the Torah was given not to angels but to human beings.
    • Jewish tradition says that Kaddish is so powerful that the whole world is maintained because of it.
    • Its logic isn't drawn so much from the traditions of Judaism and its reliance on Torah, however.
  • 2.3(In Islam) a saying or act ascribed to the Prophet but not recorded in the Koran. See Hadith.
    More example sentences
    • In the report, he also alleged interrogators ridiculed the Muslim religion, its traditions and the Koran.
    • There is a tradition of the Prophet which shows that he considered knowledge as his weapon.
    • Thus the incidental killing of women and children has the sanction in the traditions of the Prophet.



Pronunciation: /-ˌnerē/
More example sentences
  • The implications of such claims, needless to say, are a far cry from traditionary assumptions about romance being a tissue of impossible fantasies and history being a discourse of empirical truth.
  • The demonstration plot obtained better yield and better quality compared with the traditionary yield.
  • The Muslims, likewise, have been held in the bondage of traditionary forms and ceremonials.


More example sentences
  • However, the historians and traditionists are unanimous that the official codex was adopted under the third Caliph Uthman.
  • It correctly perceived a shift in interpretative focus away from the Bible's literal narrative and toward the authors and traditionists behind or below that narrative.
  • The sources suggest that his reputation as a traditionist went far beyond those circles and groups that are identified with him.


More example sentences
  • This characteristic functions as the tradition (for a notoriously traditionless people) of accountability.
  • But from the point of view of certain strands of Protestantism that became very dominant, it was a traditionless Christianity.
  • Consequently an organized faction finds it easier to challenge the authority of the leaders, for in a traditionless society all articulate men are equal.


late Middle English: from Old French tradicion, or from Latin traditio(n-), from tradere 'deliver, betray', from trans- 'across' + dare 'give'.

More definitions of tradition

Definition of tradition in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw