Definition of initiate in English:


See synonyms for initiate

Translate initiate into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Cause (a process or action) to begin.

    ‘he proposes to initiate discussions on planning procedures’
    • ‘The process begins with initiating the microscopic process under study.’
    • ‘The report proposed that the authority initiate a procurement process to enable anyone to put forward any technologies for waste disposal.’
    • ‘In 1999 the former Northern Municipality Local Council began to initiate development.’
    • ‘This completes the process initiated by me in my last budget in this regard.’
    • ‘He said that the campaign against him was initiated by a number of people who had an interest in changing the Prosecutor General.’
    • ‘Another preliminary investigation was initiated into a group of people of Arab origin living in Hamburg.’
    • ‘The German Transplantation Society has initiated an audit to investigate the influence of these factors.’
    • ‘The idea first got a foothold with a bird project initiated by the Audubon Society.’
    • ‘He developed acute psychosis and had to be admitted in order to initiate treatment.’
    • ‘The secret stakeholder dialogue was initiated by BNFL two years ago in an attempt to improve its environmental image.’
    • ‘Women in sex work were categorized as high-risk groups and several interventions were initiated.’
    • ‘Repairs were initiated because the roof leaked so much that staff had to work with umbrellas over their heads.’
    • ‘Both revolutions were initiated as wars of liberation, wars of national renewal.’
    • ‘The idea, if such deals are initiated, is to use a part of the budget surplus to finance them.’
    • ‘In the end, the question of why the campaign was initiated may overshadow the campaign itself.’
    • ‘In late 1998 court proceedings were initiated due to irregularities in the purchase of these shares.’
    • ‘Airports are being upgraded, modernisation plans have been prepared and action initiated.’
    • ‘However, this was by no means the case, even before liberal reforms were initiated.’
    • ‘Due to the demands from women in the childbirth movement, some changes were initiated.’
    • ‘If an impact is too rapid, and acclimation on the level of gene expression cannot occur, cellular damage and cell death are initiated.’
    begin, start off, commence, take action on, usher in
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  • 2Admit (someone) into a secret or obscure society or group, typically with a ritual.

    ‘she had been formally initiated into the sorority’
    • ‘It was like being initiated into some secret society being taken to it.’
    • ‘Rennie, whose grandfather and father were both members, was initiated into the society when he was just 15.’
    • ‘She had been initiated into the secrets at the age of sixteen and told of their goals and their reason for existence.’
    • ‘For example, among the Mende of Sierra Leone, boys must be initiated into the Poro Society before they are recognized as adult.’
    • ‘Groups of girls of approximately the same age are initiated into these societies.’
    • ‘He was initiated as a Wiccan at the Spring equinox seven years ago, on a mountainside near Manchester where he then lived.’
    • ‘With this comes the revelation that it is deity, not an individual, who initiates you.’
    • ‘In the novel the young girl who was initiated into the movement was an articulate student, a dissenter by nature.’
    • ‘It's not something you need to be initiated into with mystical rites.’
    • ‘At the end of the Recruitment, the Masters and Mistresses and I will decide which of you are qualified to be initiated into the League.’
    • ‘Few children are now initiated into the Lyangombe and Nyabingi sects.’
    • ‘When one is initiated into Santeria, he or she dresses completely in white clothing for one year.’
    • ‘The girls came with their parents and were initiated into the Gayatri Mantra by their fathers.’
    • ‘Few or none of them will have actually been initiated into a shaman tradition by the use of such drugs.’
    • ‘Recently, she claimed to have been initiated into a traditional Aboriginal community.’
    • ‘Take that girl I was talking about earlier on, who was initiated into a satanic cult.’
    • ‘It was the great word of power, known only to priestesses initiated into the Mysteries of the gods.’
    • ‘During the exorcism we asked her what organisation she had been initiated into and she wouldn't tell us but we managed to squeeze it out of her.’
    introduce, admit, let, induct, install, instate, incorporate, ordain, invest, enlist, enrol, recruit, sign up, swear in
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    1. 2.1initiate someone in/intoIntroduce someone to (a particular activity or skill, especially a difficult or obscure one)
      ‘they were initiated into the mysteries of trigonometry’
      • ‘As they become better acquainted, Snow Flower initiates Lily into a system of code-writing used solely between women.’
      • ‘I had been working as an overseer of cattle for a few weeks and had spent the last few days initiating her into her new role.’
      • ‘It was he who initiated Bensemann into the dark art of English dancing.’
      • ‘Well, last year was my first Finke and that was when I was initiated into all that is motor sports.’
      • ‘The purpose of high school science courses should not be to train scientists but to educate students by initiating them into our ongoing cultural conversation about how to make sense of the world.’
      • ‘His brother initiates him into the worlds of North American popular music and womanizing.’
      • ‘During one of his visits to jail, he meets a con man named Jack Duane who initiates Jurgis into a life of crime.’
      • ‘The institute, incorporated in 1987, is devoted to developing leadership among Detroit's young people and initiating them into the struggle for civil rights.’
      • ‘Every student has a different pace of learning and therefore, determining what kind of a learner he or she is was the first step in initiating him into high-impact learning methods.’
      • ‘In fact, the credit for initiating him into the world of shadow puppetry goes to a Chinese scholar.’
      • ‘Glencoe initiates us into Scottish naturescapes.’
      • ‘One rainy day, when playing cricket was out of the question, his teacher at the primary school in Surrey that he attended brought his class inside and, using the blackboard, initiated them into the secrets of cricket scoring.’
      • ‘It was my father who initiated me into athletics.’
      • ‘His mother initiated him into classical music, and he started learning in 1989.’
      • ‘Patients must be initiated into simple exercises such as walking.’
      • ‘Visitors would be initiated into the possibilities of yoga and given insights on how to lead a stress-free life.’
      • ‘How to play the forward and the backward defensive strokes is common knowledge to anyone who has been initiated into the game.’
      • ‘While her father is an avid golfer, she has just about got initiated into the game.’
      • ‘When they leave school many go to the factory or workshop and become initiated into the mysteries of betting and other evils.’
      • ‘They will be initiated into sports activities - volleyball for men and throw ball for women.’
      teach about, instruct in, coach in, tutor in, school in, train in, drill in, prime in, ground in, familiarize with, acquaint with, make conversant with, make aware of
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/iˈniSHēˌāt/ /ɪˈnɪʃiˌeɪt/


  • A person who has been initiated into an organization or activity, typically recently.

    ‘initiates of the Shiva cult’
    • ‘the initiate Marines’
    • ‘I had a conversation with a student on my campus who was a recent initiate of an organization.’
    • ‘Its second task, in short, is to make activists of baptismal initiates.’
    • ‘For centuries these paintings were reserved for sacred ceremonies and the eyes of the initiates and participants only.’
    • ‘This is a journey common to the initiates of Tantric cults, Australian Aborigines; even Chinese and Christians.’
    • ‘Like a young initiate into a cult, however, I took this failure to be a sign that ever greater and more glorious rewards lay ahead.’
    • ‘He ruminates, at one point, that maybe awakened men and women of old were copied by students and initiates observing this movement in the hope that it would be beneficial or move them towards the ‘goal’.’
    • ‘The advisers give advice to the Guild-mistress, and are her closest friends, and they also train the messengers, neophytes, and initiates to do their duties.’
    • ‘Members are those initiates who have been to a few rituals and like what they see and the people they are working magic with.’
    • ‘There's also going to be a second level of membership, the initiates.’
    • ‘The mask was carved by a member of a men's secret society and was danced by another of these members at ceremonies for new initiates.’
    • ‘He was, as a graduate student at a major university, an initiate into academic culture.’
    • ‘A potential initiate is hardly going to stumble upon a support group this small.’
    • ‘His eyes scanned the gathering in the abbey's library; friends and family of the initiates were invited and encouraged to attend.’
    • ‘The mystery and terror of confronting unknown beings in this context places the initiate in an altered state and primes him to receive instruction.’
    • ‘But an initiate is no less an initiate for not being branded with a particular tradition.’
    • ‘The hippo alludes to someone looking for an extramarital relationship; the hippo mask thus serves to admonish initiates and the general public about inappropriate behavior.’
    • ‘He must also explain what new initiates are to be dropped or reduced as a result.’
    • ‘As with much of initiation art, this sculpture instructs the initiates and the community in matters of dispute resolution, sexual maturity, and good judgment.’
    • ‘We know that many of the greatest men of Athens were initiates (including Plato) as well as were slaves; and later, senators and emperors of Rome.’
    • ‘It would take much before they were deemed worthy to become initiates, they indicated.’
    novice, starter, beginner, newcomer
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/iˈniSHēət/ /ɪˈnɪʃiət/


Mid 16th century (in initiate (sense 2 of the verb)): from Latin initiat- ‘begun’, from the verb initiare, from initium ‘beginning’.