[ in-aw-gyer-uhl, -ger-uhl ]
/ ɪnˈɔ gyər əl, -gər əl /
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of or relating to an inauguration: Harding's inaugural address.
marking the beginning of a new venture, series, etc.: the inaugural run of the pony express.
an address, as of a president, at the beginning of a term of office.
an inaugural ceremony: to attend the presidential inaugural.
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Origin of inaugural

1680–90; obsolete inaugure (<Latin inaugurāre to inaugurate) + -al1, -al2


post·in·au·gu·ral, adjectivepre·in·au·gu·ral, adjective


inaugural , inauguration
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does inaugural mean?

Inaugural is used to describe things that involve or related to inauguration—the process of formally inducting someone into a position or officially opening something to use.

To induct someone or open something in this way is to inaugurate. The word inauguration also commonly refers to a ceremony in which a person or thing is inaugurated.

U.S. presidents are inaugurated—officially inducted into office and sworn in—on Inauguration Day, on which they usually give their inaugural address (speech). Such inaugurations are often planned by inaugural committees.

Inaugural can also be used as a noun as another word for an inauguration or an inaugural speech, though this is less common.

The verb inaugurate can also be used in a more general way meaning to formally or officially take action to begin something—to initiate or commence it.

Inaugural can also be used as an adjective to describe the first part of a new venture or series, as in This is the inaugural edition of the magazine—the very first issue!

Example: The president-elect will lay out her plans for her first 100 days in office during her inaugural address.

Where does inaugural come from?

The first records of the word inaugural come from the 1680s. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb inaugurāre, meaning “to consecrate by augury.” In ancient Rome, an augury was the rite or ceremony held by an augur—a kind of soothsayer or priest whose job was to interpret omens to guide decisions. In Ancient Rome, the augurs were consulted before lawmakers officially took a position.

In the U.S., Inauguration Day involves the inauguration of the president through a swearing-in ceremony, typically followed by the inaugural address. The inauguration also commonly involves other traditional events, such as an inaugural luncheon and an inaugural ball.

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How is inaugural used in real life?

Inaugural is commonly used in the context of formal ceremonies and related things, such as inaugural addresses and inaugural committees. It’s also often used to describe the first edition or part of a series.



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The president’s inaugural address is the speech given on Inauguration Day.

How to use inaugural in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for inaugural

/ (ɪnˈɔːɡjʊrəl) /

characterizing or relating to an inauguration
a speech made at an inauguration, esp by a president of the US
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012