Why was clemency trending last week?


[v. ih-nish-ee-eyt; adj., n. ih-nish-ee-it, -eyt] /v. ɪˈnɪʃ iˌeɪt; adj., n. ɪˈnɪʃ i ɪt, -ˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), initiated, initiating.
to begin, set going, or originate:
to initiate major social reforms.
to introduce into the knowledge of some art or subject.
to admit or accept with formal rites into an organization or group, secret knowledge, adult society, etc.
to propose (a measure) by initiative procedure:
to initiate a constitutional amendment.
initiated; begun.
admitted into an organizaton or group, secret knowledge, etc.
introduced to the knowledge of a subject.
a person who has been initiated.
Origin of initiate
1595-1605; < Latin initiātus past participle of initiāre, equivalent to initi(um) (see initial) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
initiator, noun
noninitiate, noun
preinitiate, verb (used with object), preinitiated, preinitiating.
preinitiate, noun
quasi-initiated, adjective
reinitiate, verb (used with object), reinitiated, reinitiating.
uninitiate, adjective
uninitiated, adjective
well-initiated, adjective
1. commence; introduce, inaugurate, open. See begin. 2. teach, instruct, indoctrinate, train.
1. conclude. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for initiate
  • The company's objections notwithstanding, this decision may initiate an endgame in the case.
  • When everyone wishing to share their thoughts has done so, initiate a discussion of students' reactions.
  • Warmer waters could also alter the flow of ocean currents and initiate an influx of cooler water in certain areas.
  • Hierarchical in all things, hyena etiquette usually requires the submissive animal to initiate the greeting.
  • While perhaps unable to initiate an evolutionary process, the simulations could be used for testing scientist's hypotheses.
  • In fact it is the upper leg muscles that initiate the lift by pushing downward into the platform at the beginning.
  • But when it occurs inside blood vessels, inflammation can initiate plaque formation.
  • Many factors and events coincided to initiate phase two.
  • Oxidative stress and free radical damage to cells may initiate the early stages of cancer and heart disease.
  • Some experts worry that this is not the right time in the business cycle to initiate a balanced-budget plan.
British Dictionary definitions for initiate


verb (transitive) (ɪˈnɪʃɪˌeɪt)
to begin or originate
to accept (new members) into an organization such as a club, through often secret ceremonies
to teach fundamentals to: she initiated him into the ballet
adjective (ɪˈnɪʃɪɪt; -ˌeɪt)
initiated; begun
noun (ɪˈnɪʃɪɪt; -ˌeɪt)
a person who has been initiated, esp recently
a beginner; novice
Word Origin
C17: from Latin initiāre (vb), from initium; see initial
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for initiate

"one who has been initiated," 1811, from past participle adjective initiate (c.1600); see initiate (v.).


c.1600, "introduce to some practice or system," also "begin, set going," from Latin initiatus, past participle of initiare "to begin, originate," from initium "beginning" (see initial). In some senses a back-formation from initiation. Related: Initiated; initiates; initiating; initiator.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for initiate

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for initiate

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with initiate