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initiate

[verb ih-nish-ee-eyt; adjective, noun ih-nish-ee-it, -eyt]
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verb (used with object), in·i·ti·at·ed, in·i·ti·at·ing.
  1. to begin, set going, or originate: to initiate major social reforms.
  2. to introduce into the knowledge of some art or subject.
  3. to admit or accept with formal rites into an organization or group, secret knowledge, adult society, etc.
  4. to propose (a measure) by initiative procedure: to initiate a constitutional amendment.
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adjective
  1. initiated; begun.
  2. admitted into an organizaton or group, secret knowledge, etc.
  3. introduced to the knowledge of a subject.
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noun
  1. a person who has been initiated.
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Origin of initiate

1595–1605; < Latin initiātus past participle of initiāre, equivalent to initi(um) (see initial) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsin·i·ti·a·tor, nounnon·in·i·ti·ate, nounpre·in·i·ti·ate, verb (used with object), pre·in·i·ti·at·ed, pre·in·i·ti·at·ing.pre·in·i·ti·ate, nounqua·si-in·i·ti·at·ed, adjectivere·in·i·ti·ate, verb (used with object), re·in·i·ti·at·ed, re·in·i·ti·at·ing.un·in·i·ti·ate, adjectiveun·in·i·ti·at·ed, adjectivewell-in·i·ti·at·ed, adjective

Synonyms

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1. commence; introduce, inaugurate, open. 2. teach, instruct, indoctrinate, train.

Synonym study

1. See begin.

Antonyms

1. conclude.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for initiate

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • What they meant was not for the profane, or even for the initiate.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • It is mine to initiate you into the highly respectable mysteries.

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

  • No guide-book ever can initiate you into the atmosphere of a city like Prague.

    From a Terrace in Prague

    Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker

  • The Senate, however, cannot initiate a treaty, the President alone can do that.

    Ethics in Service

    William Howard Taft

  • So then we began to initiate the plan of the new expedition.

    Beasts, Men and Gods

    Ferdinand Ossendowski


British Dictionary definitions for initiate

initiate

verb (ɪˈnɪʃɪˌeɪt) (tr)
  1. to begin or originate
  2. to accept (new members) into an organization such as a club, through often secret ceremonies
  3. to teach fundamentals toshe initiated him into the ballet
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adjective (ɪˈnɪʃɪɪt, -ˌeɪt)
  1. initiated; begun
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noun (ɪˈnɪʃɪɪt, -ˌeɪt)
  1. a person who has been initiated, esp recently
  2. a beginner; novice
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin initiāre (vb), from initium; see initial
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

Word Origin and History for initiate

n.

"one who has been initiated," 1811, from past participle adjective initiate (c.1600); see initiate (v.).

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v.

c.1600, "introduce to some practice or system," also "begin, set going," from Latin initiatus, past participle of initiare "to begin, originate," from initium "beginning" (see initial). In some senses a back-formation from initiation. Related: Initiated; initiates; initiating; initiator.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper