any customary observance or practice
the prescribed procedure for conducting religious ceremonies
of or relating to or characteristic of religious rituals
of or relating to or employed in social rites or rituals
"a ritual dance of Haiti"; "sedate little colonial tribe with its ritual tea parties"- Nadine Gordimer
rite; a repeated set of actions
They carried out the ritual carefully.
Related to a rite or repeated set of actions.
They performed the ritual lighting of the candles.
Origin: From adjective ritualis, from noun rituum, rite, + adjective suffix -alis.
of or pertaining to rites or ritual; as, ritual service or sacrifices; the ritual law
a prescribed form of performing divine service in a particular church or communion; as, the Jewish ritual
hence, the code of ceremonies observed by an organization; as, the ritual of the freemasons
a book containing the rites to be observed
Origin: [L. ritualis, fr. ritus a rite: cf. F. rituel.]
A ritual "is a stereotyped sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and designed to influence preternatural entities or forces on behalf of the actors' goals and interests." Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism and performance. Rituals of various kinds are a feature of almost all known human societies, past or present. They include not only the various worship rites and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but also the rites of passage of certain societies, atonement and purification rites, oaths of allegiance, dedication ceremonies, coronations and presidential inaugurations, marriages and funerals, school "rush" traditions and graduations, club meetings, sports events, Halloween parties, veterans parades, Christmas shopping and more. Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes, such as jury trials, execution of criminals, and scientific symposia, are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, and thus partly ritualistic in nature. Even common actions like hand-shaking and saying hello may be termed rituals.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
rit′ū-al, adj. consisting of or prescribing rites.—n. manner of performing divine service, or a book containing it: the body of rites employed in the church: the code of ceremonies observed by an organisation, as the ritual of the Freemasons.—ns. Rit′ūalism, systems of rituals or prescribed forms of religion: the observance of them: the name popularly given to the great increase of ceremonial and symbolism by means of special vestments, &c., in the Church of England since about 1860-65: Rit′ūalist, one skilled in or devoted to a ritual: one of the party devoted to ritualism in the Church of England.—adj. Ritūalist′ic, pertaining to the ritual.—adv. Rit′ūally. [L. ritualis; cf. Rite.]
Song lyrics by ritual -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by ritual on the Lyrics.com website.
British National Corpus
Rank popularity for the word 'ritual' in Nouns Frequency: #2374
The numerical value of ritual in Chaldean Numerology is: 8
The numerical value of ritual in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
If the existing laws are implemented there would be no ritual sacrifices.
Ritual is the way you carry the presence of the sacred. Ritual is the spark that must not go out.
It is a ritual connected with people’s faith, we can’t hurt their sentiments and ban the practice.
Corn is just one plant, but in the Andes it was really important as a dietary staple, [and] also a ritual product.
Any religion...is for ever in danger of petrifaction into mere ritual and habit, though ritual and habit be essential to religion.
Images & Illustrations of ritual
Translations for ritual
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- شَعِيرَة, مَرَاسِم, طُقُوسArabic
- рытуал, абрадBelarusian
- ритуал, обредBulgarian
- ritualCatalan, Valencian
- rituální, rituál, obřadCzech
- Ritual, rituellGerman
- ritualo, ritaroEsperanto
- rituaali, rituaalinenFinnish
- deas-ghnàthScottish Gaelic
- rituális, szertartás, rítus, rituálé, szertartásos, ünnepélyesHungarian
- ծես, արարողությունArmenian
- 의식, 儀式, 의례Korean
- rituāls, ritsLatvian
- ритуал, обредMacedonian
- obrzędowy, obrządek, obrzęd, rytuał, rytualnyPolish
- rito, ritualPortuguese
- ритуал, ритуальный, обрядовый, обрядRussian
- обред, ritual, ритуал, obredSerbo-Croatian
- obrad, rituálSlovak
- ritual, obredSlovene
- обряд, ритуалUkrainian
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