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inauguration

[ in-aw-gyuh-rey-shuhn, -guh- ]
/ ɪnˌɔ gyəˈreɪ ʃən, -gə- /
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noun

an act or ceremony of inaugurating.

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Origin of inauguration

First recorded in 1560–70, inauguration is from the Late Latin word inaugurātiōn- (stem of inaugurātiō). See inaugurate, -ion.

OTHER WORDS FROM inauguration

re·in·au·gu·ra·tion, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH inauguration

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

VOCAB BUILDER

What does inauguration mean?

Inauguration is the process of inaugurating someone—officially inducting them into a position.

It can also refer to the process of introducing something into use with a formal ceremony.

Inauguration is also commonly used to refer to a ceremony in which a person or thing is inaugurated.

The inauguration of U.S. presidents—in which they are officially inducted into office and sworn in—happens on Inauguration Day.

The inauguration of a new factory or public building might involve a ribbon-cutting ceremony or a dedication ceremony, for example. However, the word is not all that commonly used in this way. In the context of buildings, the word dedication is more 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. The noun inauguration can also be used in this general way to mean initiation or commencement, as in The end of the war brought about the inauguration of a new era.

Example: In the U.S., presidents are elected in November, but their terms don’t officially begin until their inauguration in January.

Where does inauguration come from?

The first records of the word inauguration come from the 1560s. 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., the inauguration of the president happens on January 20 following a presidential election (or January 21 if January 20 falls on a Sunday). This date is set by the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first president whose inauguration took place on this day when he began his second term in 1937. Other elected officials, such as governors, are inducted in inauguration ceremonies, but the inauguration of the president is the most well-known, likely due to the importance of the office and the grand nature of the ceremony.

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How is inauguration used in real life?

Inauguration is most commonly used in the context of formal ceremonies. In the U.S., the word is closely associated with the official induction of a new president on Inauguration Day.

 

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The inauguration of a politician involves their removal from office.

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