Definition of initiate in English:

initiate

Line breaks: ini¦ti|ate

verb

Pronunciation: /ɪˈnɪʃɪeɪt
 
/
[with object]
1Cause (a process or action) to begin: he proposes to initiate discussions on planning procedures
More example sentences
  • The process begins with initiating the microscopic process under study.
  • The report proposed that the authority initiate a procurement process to enable anyone to put forward any technologies for waste disposal.
  • In 1999 the former Northern Municipality Local Council began to initiate development.
Synonyms
begin, start off, commence, take action on, usher in;
institute, inaugurate, put in place, launch, open, instigate, bring about, get under way, set in motion, trigger off, actuate;
establish, set up, lay the foundations of, lay the first stone of, lay the cornerstone of, sow the seeds of, start the ball rolling;
informal get cracking on, get going on, kick off
2Admit (someone) into a secret or obscure society or group, typically with a ritual: she had been formally initiated into the movement
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: it’s a secret sign 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 mathematics
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.
Synonyms
indoctrinate, inculcate
informal break someone in, show someone the ropes

noun

Pronunciation: /ɪˈnɪʃɪət
 
/
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A person who has been initiated into an organization or activity: an initiate of the cult
More example sentences
  • I had a conversation with a student on my campus who was a recent initiate of an organization.
  • Its second task, in short, is to make activists of baptismal initiates.
  • For centuries these paintings were reserved for sacred ceremonies and the eyes of the initiates and participants only.
Synonyms
novice, starter, beginner, newcomer;
new boy, new girl, new recruit, raw recruit, recruit, tyro, neophyte;
member;
Christianity postulant, novitiate
North American informal greenhorn

Origin

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

Derivatives

initiatory

Pronunciation: /ɪˈnɪʃɪət(ə)ri, ɪˌnɪʃɪˈeɪt(ə)ri/
adjective
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?

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