What does initiate mean?

Definitions for initiate
ɪˈnɪʃ iˌeɪt; -ɪt, -ˌeɪtini·ti·ate

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word initiate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. novice, beginner, tyro, tiro, initiatenoun

    someone new to a field or activity

  2. initiate, learned person, pundit, savantnoun

    someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field

  3. initiate, enlightenedverb

    people who have been introduced to the mysteries of some field or activity

    "it is very familiar to the initiate"

  4. originate, initiate, startverb

    bring into being

    "He initiated a new program"; "Start a foundation"

  5. initiate, pioneerverb

    take the lead or initiative in; participate in the development of

    "This South African surgeon pioneered heart transplants"

  6. initiate, inductverb

    accept people into an exclusive society or group, usually with some rite

    "African men are initiated when they reach puberty"

  7. broach, initiateverb

    bring up a topic for discussion

  8. lead up, initiateverb

    set in motion, start an event or prepare the way for

    "Hitler's attack on Poland led up to World War II"


  1. initiatenoun

    A new member of an organization.

  2. initiatenoun

    One who has been through a ceremony of initiation.

  3. initiateverb

    To begin, to start, to introduce.

  4. Etymology: From initiatus, perfect passive participle of initio, from initium, from ineo, from in + eo.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Initiateadjective


    Etymology: initié, Fr. initiatus, Lat.

    My strange and self-abuse
    Is the initiate fear; that wants hard use:
    We're yet but young. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

  2. To Initiateverb

    To enter; to instruct in the rudiments of an art; to place in a new state; to put into a new society.

    Etymology: initier, French; initio, Lat.

    Providence would only initiate mankind into the useful knowledge of her treasures, leaving the rest to employ our industry. Henry More, Antidote against Atheism.

    To initiate his pupil in any part of learning, an ordinary skill in the governour is enough. John Locke, on Education.

    He was initiated into half a dozen clubs before he was one and twenty. Spectator, №. 576.

    No sooner was a convert initiated, but, by an easy figure, he became a new man. Addison.

  3. To Initiateverb

    To do the first part; to perform the first rite.

    The king himself initiates to the pow'r,
    Scatters with quiv'ring hand the sacred flour,
    And the stream sprinkles. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Initiateverb

    to introduce by a first act; to make a beginning with; to set afoot; to originate; to commence; to begin or enter upon

  2. Initiateverb

    to acquaint with the beginnings; to instruct in the rudiments or principles; to introduce

  3. Initiateverb

    to introduce into a society or organization; to confer membership on; especially, to admit to a secret order with mysterious rites or ceremonies

  4. Initiateverb

    to do the first act; to perform the first rite; to take the initiative

  5. Initiateadjective

    unpracticed; untried; new

  6. Initiateadjective

    begun; commenced; introduced to, or instructed in, the rudiments; newly admitted

  7. Initiatenoun

    one who is, or is to be, initiated

  8. Etymology: [L. initiatus, p. p.]

Editors Contribution

  1. initiate

    To create or start intuitively.

    They did initiate change proactively.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 10, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'initiate' in Verbs Frequency: #715

How to pronounce initiate?

How to say initiate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of initiate in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of initiate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of initiate in a Sentence

  1. Natan Bar-Chama:

    Sperm DNA from obese or marijuana-exposed animal models and men demonstrate alterations that are transferred to the progeny and can result in increased risk for cancer, effects on behavior, birth defects and overall long-term health repercussions, men need to appreciate that their lifestyle behaviors may not only affect their ability to initiate a healthy pregnancy but, just as importantly, affect the future well-being of their child -- something that has clear lifelong repercussions and that should be seriously considered prior to initialing fatherhood.

  2. Bhanu Prakash Kolla:

    We know that when people initiate use there is some benefit in the immediate short term but there is quick tolerance to this effect, there currently is no good quality evidence to suggest that cannabis will help improve sleep quality or duration.

  3. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying:

    To initiate any political reform process is not easy. If this proposal is vetoed, it could be several years before the next opportunity.

  4. Xu Jinhui:

    Once in possession of solid evidence, we will initiate confiscation procedures according to the law.

  5. Inovio Chief Executive Joseph Kim:

    We will next test the vaccine in non-human primates and initiate clinical product manufacturing. We plan to initiate Phase I human testing of our Zika vaccine before the end of 2016.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for initiate

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    tasteless showiness
    • A. rung
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    • C. ventricle
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