observance of set forms in public worship.
a book of rites or ceremonies.
a book containing the offices to be used by priests in administering the sacraments and for visitation of the sick, burial of the dead, etc.
a prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service: the ritual of the dead.
prescribed, established, or ceremonial acts or features collectively, as in religious services.
any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner.
a prescribed code of behavior regulating social conduct, as that exemplified by the raising of one's hat or the shaking of hands in greeting.
Psychiatry. a specific act, as hand-washing, performed repetitively to a pathological degree, occurring as a common symptom of obsessive-compulsive neurosis.
of the nature of or practiced as a rite or ritual: a ritual dance.
of or relating to rites or ritual: ritual laws.
- rit·u·al·ly, adverb
- an·ti·rit·u·al, adjective
- pro·rit·u·al, adjective
- un·rit·u·al, adjective
- un·rit·u·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ritual in a sentence
Scans hint at Egyptian ritual in the snake, which had rock structures in its open mouth, possibly the mineral natron used by ancient Egyptians to slow decomposition.X-rays reveal what ancient animal mummies keep under wraps | Helen Thompson | August 20, 2020 | Science News
Another viewing feels fitting, like the conclusion to a ritual.
Many people, for instance, are turning to their immediate family members to fill that ritual void.Why do we miss the rituals put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic? | Sujata Gupta | August 14, 2020 | Science News
A connection may have existed between human sacrificial ceremonies that were intended to appease Inca deities and events held at Lake Titicaca, including the submerging of ritual offerings, the researchers suggest.A submerged Inca offering hints at Lake Titicaca’s sacred role | Bruce Bower | August 3, 2020 | Science News
Ancient Americans ventured deep into caves along a stretch of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to mine a red pigment that could have had both practical and ritual uses, researchers say.Underwater caves once hosted the Americas’ oldest known ochre mines | Bruce Bower | July 3, 2020 | Science News
The family was taking some private moments for a closing of the coffin in keeping with Chinese ritual.
What ritual did some celebrities start engaging in over the summer?Michael Tomasky’s Year-End Quiz: Test Your 2014 News Knowledge | Michael Tomasky | December 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Kanchanaburi, Thailand — At the Kanchanaburi train station each morning, the same ritual unfolds.
Followers had traveled many miles to mourn the loss, and aid in the ritual washing, dressing, and honoring of the body.Jail Threats for Sierra Leone Ebola Victims’ Families | Abby Haglage | December 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The line of questioning is a regular ritual conducted between Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the press corps.
Upon seeing the said ritual, I ordered it to be published, and it was done on the day of Sts.
Organisation ensues, and the general conceptions of state-deities and state-ritual are made more definite and precise.
Once again temples are shut and marriages forbidden, but the ritual is of a very different nature.
In the matter of ritual and observance, state-organisation—and its absence—are alike significant.
There he saw the ceremony of ordination performed, and expressed warm approbation of the Anglican ritual.The History of England from the Accession of James II. | Thomas Babington Macaulay
British Dictionary definitions for ritual
the prescribed or established form of a religious or other ceremony
such prescribed forms in general or collectively
stereotyped activity or behaviour
psychol any repetitive behaviour, such as hand-washing, performed by a person with a compulsive personality disorder
any formal act, institution, or procedure that is followed consistently: the ritual of the law
of, relating to, or characteristic of religious, social, or other rituals
- ritually, adverb
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