[ rahyt ]
/ raɪt /


a formal or ceremonial act or procedure prescribed or customary in religious or other solemn use: rites of baptism; sacrificial rites.
a particular form or system of religious or other ceremonial practice: the Roman rite.
(often initial capital letter) a liturgy or liturgical system, especially one of the historical versions of the Eucharistic service: the Anglican Rite.
(sometimes initial capital letter) Eastern Church, Western Church. a division or differentiation of churches based on liturgical practice.
any customary observance or practice: the rite of afternoon tea.

Origin of rite

1275–1325; Middle English (< Old French rit(e)) < Latin rītus
Related formsrite·less, adjectiverite·less·ness, noun
Can be confusedright rite wright write

Synonym study

1. See ceremony.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rite

British Dictionary definitions for rite


/ (raɪt) /


a formal act or procedure prescribed or customary in religious ceremoniesfertility rites; the rite of baptism
a particular body of such acts or procedures, esp of a particular Christian Churchthe Latin rite
a Christian Churchthe Greek rite

Word Origin for rite

C14: from Latin rītus religious ceremony
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 rite



early 14c., from Latin ritus "religious observance or ceremony, custom, usage," perhaps from PIE root *re(i)- "to count, number" (cf. Greek arithmos "number," Old English rim "number;" see read (v.)). Rite of passage (1909) is translated from French rite de passage, coined by French anthropologist Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper