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[rahyt] /raɪt/
a formal or ceremonial act or procedure prescribed or customary in religious or other solemn use:
rites of baptism; sacrificial rites.
a particular form or system of religious or other ceremonial practice:
the Roman rite.
(often initial capital letter) one of the historical versions of the Eucharistic service:
the Anglican Rite.
(often initial capital letter) liturgy.
(sometimes initial capital letter) Eastern Church, Western Church. a division or differentiation of churches according to liturgy.
any customary observance or practice:
the rite of afternoon tea.
Origin of rite
1275-1325; Middle English (< Old French rit(e)) < Latin rītus
Related forms
riteless, adjective
ritelessness, noun
Can be confused
right, rite, wright, write.
1. observance, form, usage. See ceremony. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rite
  • We should also acknowledge that losing professors need not be an inevitable rite of spring.
  • Traditional marriage has evolved from a near-universal rite to a luxury for the educated and affluent.
  • Hospital surgeries reduce the infection rate, but many boys opt for the old rite.
  • It is an annual rite that has sustained wildlife ranging from bears to bald eagles.
  • The driver's license is the initiation rite into adulthood.
  • The history begins with a moment-by-moment description of the rite of baptism.
  • The interim director job you had was that rite large.
  • In the next few months, colleges will be completing an annual rite of fall: naming search committees and appointing their leaders.
  • Marriage has two aspects: it is a religious rite, and it is a civil contract between two people.
  • Heating improves taste and texture of such dishes as fruit pies, rite puddings, and baked apples.
British Dictionary definitions for rite


a formal act or procedure prescribed or customary in religious ceremonies: fertility rites, the rite of baptism
a particular body of such acts or procedures, esp of a particular Christian Church: the Latin rite
a Christian Church: the Greek rite
Word Origin
C14: from Latin rītus religious ceremony
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
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Word Origin and History for rite

early 14c., from Latin ritus "religious observance or ceremony, custom, usage," perhaps from PIE root *re(i)- "to count, number" (cf. Greek arithmos "number," Old English rim "number;" see read (v.)). Rite of passage (1909) is translated from French rite de passage, coined by French anthropologist Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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