What does tradition mean?

Definitions for tradition
trəˈdɪʃ əntra·di·tion

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. traditionnoun

    an inherited pattern of thought or action

  2. custom, traditionnoun

    a specific practice of long standing


  1. traditionnoun

    A part of culture that is passed from person to person or generation to generation, possibly differing in detail from family to family, such as the way to celebrate holidays.

  2. traditionnoun

    A commonly held system.

  3. Etymology: From traditio, from the verb tradere.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Traditionnoun

    the act of delivering into the hands of another; delivery

  2. Traditionnoun

    the unwritten or oral delivery of information, opinions, doctrines, practices, rites, and customs, from father to son, or from ancestors to posterity; the transmission of any knowledge, opinions, or practice, from forefathers to descendants by oral communication, without written memorials

  3. Traditionnoun

    hence, that which is transmitted orally from father to son, or from ancestors to posterity; knowledge or belief transmitted without the aid of written memorials; custom or practice long observed

  4. Traditionnoun

    an unwritten code of law represented to have been given by God to Moses on Sinai

  5. Traditionnoun

    that body of doctrine and discipline, or any article thereof, supposed to have been put forth by Christ or his apostles, and not committed to writing

  6. Traditionverb

    to transmit by way of tradition; to hand down


  1. Tradition

    A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes, but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings. Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of years—the word "tradition" itself derives from the Latin tradere or traderer literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping. While it is commonly assumed that traditions have ancient history, many traditions have been invented on purpose, whether that be political or cultural, over short periods of time. Certain scholarly fields, such as anthropology and biology, have adapted the term "tradition," defining it more precisely than its conventional use in order to facilitate scholarly discourse. The concept of tradition, as the notion of holding on to a previous time, is also found in political and philosophical discourse. For example, the political concept of traditionalism is based around it, as are strands of many world religions including traditional Catholicism. In artistic contexts, tradition is used to decide the correct display of an art form. For example, in the performance of traditional genres, adherence to guidelines dictating how an art form should be composed are given greater importance than the performer's own preferences. A number of factors can exacerbate the loss of tradition, including industrialization, globalization, and the assimilation or marginalization of specific cultural groups. In response to this, tradition-preservation attempts have now been started in many countries around the world, focusing on aspects such as traditional languages. Tradition is usually contrasted with the goal of modernity and should be differentiated from customs, conventions, laws, norms, routines, rules and similar concepts.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tradition

    tra-dish′un, n. the handing down of opinions or practices to posterity unwritten: a belief or practice thus handed down.—adjs. Tradi′tional, Tradi′tionary, delivered by tradition.—ns. Tradi′tionalism; Traditional′ity.—advs. Tradi′tionally, Tradi′tionarily.—n. Tradi′tionist, one who adheres to tradition.—adj. Trad′itive, traditional. [L.,—trans, over, dăre, to give.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. tradition

    1. Salvation through ossification; redemption through folklore; a fetter for the foolish. 2. A clock that tells what time it was. 3. A method of holding the many back while some man does the thing which they declare is impossible.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tradition' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1997

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tradition' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3913

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tradition' in Nouns Frequency: #694

How to pronounce tradition?

How to say tradition in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tradition in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tradition in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of tradition in a Sentence

  1. Jason Smith -LRB- left -RRB-:

    The leaving of cookies for Santa or St. Nicholas is a tradition that started during the Feast of St. Nicholas that the Dutch held each year, they would bring cookies to honor the saint, and to give travelers a snack for when they arrived from all over the country to praise the saint.

  2. Hassan Meqbel:

    Many young people are completely ignorant about marriage, all they know is that they want to get married and then they go on with their heritage of tradition.

  3. Joji Morishita:

    The alternative ... is to just limit the supply of whale meat to some of the major places in Japan that have a good tradition of whale eating.

  4. Tom Ruggio:

    The four paintings are connected and, fascinatingly enough to me, is doing something that most Italian Baroque painters aren't doing any more in the 17th century. Many of them are going straight to canvas, so my contention is, he's part of a Renaissance legacy, and continuing the tradition of working on paper.

  5. Abbot James Wiseman Day:

    In a nutshell I think Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton clearly recognized that to be a faithful member of the church, it includes and even requires being concerned with issues that go beyond the church door, it's not only possible, but also proper, for a Catholic or a member of any other religious tradition to be concerned with justice, peace in the world, understanding of other faiths and concern for the environment. [Pope Francis] is putting on record that what he’s doing is not all that new.

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Translations for tradition

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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1 Comment

  • Ashebir Tadesse
    tradition is a socially constructed knowledge and practice pased down to the next generation through oral and practical performances.
    LikeReplyReport 22 years ago


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a fabric with a nap that is longer and softer than velvet
  • A. occasional
  • B. witless
  • C. plush
  • D. greedy

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