What does initiate mean?

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

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. initiate

    To initiate is to start, launch, or commence a process, action, or event. It can also refer to the action of introducing or admitting someone into a group, particularly via a formal ceremony or ritual.

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. Chase Strangio:

    We are thrilled for Chelsea that the government has finally agreed to initiate hormone therapy as part of her treatment plan, this is an important first step in Chelsea's treatment regimen and one that is in line with the recommendations of all of her doctors and the basic requirements of the Eighth Amendment.

  2. Machiavelli:

    It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who would profit by the old order, only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new.

  3. Bruce Aylward:

    As soon as they develop fever and become sick, if you get them into isolation they will not initiate another chain of transmission, this is part of the end-game of Ebola, it is trying to monitor those contacts.

  4. Med Jones:

    There is an undercurrent of cultural changes in the Middle East region driven by the globalization of media and the Internet. Smart leaders will anticipate these changes and initiate gradual democratic reforms to avoid political instability and economic problems.

  5. Gandolfo - (RJ Intindola):

    You initiate conflict to seek and obtain attention; kindness and love will deliver more significant returns than one can hold.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for initiate

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"initiate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/initiate>.

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    involving or causing danger or risk; liable to hurt or harm
    • A. plush
    • B. noninvasive
    • C. dangerous
    • D. squashy

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