• synonyms


[rich-oo-uh-liz-uh m]
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  1. adherence to or insistence on ritual.
  2. the study of ritual practices or religious rites.
  3. excessive fondness for ritual.
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Origin of ritualism

First recorded in 1835–45; ritual + -ism
Related formsrit·u·al·is·tic, adjectiverit·u·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverban·ti·rit·u·al·ism, nounan·ti·rit·u·al·is·tic, adjectivehy·per·rit·u·al·ism, nounhy·per·rit·u·a·lis·tic, adjectivenon·rit·u·al·is·tic, adjectivenon·rit·u·al·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbun·rit·u·al·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ritualistic

ceremonial, conventional, established, reverent, formalistic

Examples from the Web for ritualistic

Contemporary Examples of ritualistic

Historical Examples of ritualistic

British Dictionary definitions for ritualistic


  1. of, relating to, or suggestive of ritualism
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Derived Formsritualistically, adverb


  1. emphasis, esp exaggerated emphasis, on the importance of rites and ceremonies
  2. the study of rites and ceremonies, esp magical or religious ones
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Derived Formsritualist, noun
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 ritualistic


1844, from ritualist "one versed in or devoted to rituals" (1650s; see ritual) + -ic. Related: Ritualism (1838).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper