• synonyms


[ih-nish-ee-ey-shuh n]
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  1. formal admission or acceptance into an organization or club, adult status in one's community or society, etc.
  2. the ceremonies or rites of admission.Compare rite of passage.
  3. the act of initiating.
  4. the fact of being initiated.
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Origin of initiation

First recorded in 1575–85, initiation is from the Latin word initiātiōn- (stem of initiātiō). See initiate, -ion
Related formspre·in·i·ti·a·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for initiation


  1. the act of initiating or the condition of being initiated
  2. the often secret ceremony initiating new members into an organization
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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 initiation


1580s, from Middle French initiation or directly from Latin initiationem (nominative initiatio) "participation in secret rites," noun of action from past participle stem of initiare "originate, initiate," from initium (see initial).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

initiation in Medicine


  1. The act or an instance of initiating.
  2. The condition of being initiated.
  3. The first stage of tumor induction by a carcinogen in which cells are altered so that they are likely to form a tumor upon subsequent exposure to a promoting agent.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.