- an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.
- a system or collection of religious or other rites.
- observance of set forms in public worship.
- a book of rites or ceremonies.
- a book containing the offices to be used by priests in administering the sacraments and for visitation of the sick, burial of the dead, etc.
- a prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service: the ritual of the dead.
- prescribed, established, or ceremonial acts or features collectively, as in religious services.
- any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner.
- a prescribed code of behavior regulating social conduct, as that exemplified by the raising of one's hat or the shaking of hands in greeting.
- Psychiatry. a specific act, as hand-washing, performed repetitively to a pathological degree, occurring as a common symptom of obsessive-compulsive neurosis.
- of the nature of or practiced as a rite or ritual: a ritual dance.
- of or relating to rites or ritual: ritual laws.
Origin of ritual
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ritual
The family was taking some private moments for a closing of the coffin in keeping with Chinese ritual.Funeral Protest Is Too Much for NYPD Union Boss
January 5, 2015
What ritual did some celebrities start engaging in over the summer?Michael Tomasky’s Year-End Quiz: Test Your 2014 News Knowledge
December 26, 2014
Followers had traveled many miles to mourn the loss, and aid in the ritual washing, dressing, and honoring of the body.Jail Threats for Sierra Leone Ebola Victims’ Families
December 10, 2014
Wicca includes ceremony and ritual that serves the union of the divine with nature rather than embracing a personal god.‘Gods of Suburbia’: Dina Goldstein’s Arresting Photo Series on Religion vs. Consumerism
November 8, 2014
Ghusul is a ritual cleansing from head to toe, in this instance performed with all the solemnity of a trip to a water park.ISIS Has a Bigger Coalition Than We Do
October 15, 2014
Throughout the ritual of the day he could not grow accustomed to saying good-bye.The Education of Eric Lane
It is very remarkable, and although infallible, I never read it in any ritual.The Phantom World
They lead a sort of ritual dance, that most of us have agreed to take seriously.The Rescue
The interests of the prophets, however, do not centre in ritual.
In this the Roman ritual is markedly different from the Greek.
- the prescribed or established form of a religious or other ceremony
- such prescribed forms in general or collectively
- stereotyped activity or behaviour
- psychol any repetitive behaviour, such as hand-washing, performed by a person with a compulsive personality disorder
- any formal act, institution, or procedure that is followed consistentlythe ritual of the law
- of, relating to, or characteristic of religious, social, or other rituals
Word Origin and History for ritual
1560s, from Middle French ritual or directly from Latin ritualis "relating to (religious) rites," from ritus "rite" (see rite). Related: Ritually.
1640s, from ritual (adj.).
- A detailed act or series of acts carried out by an individual to relieve anxiety or to forestall the development of anxiety.