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rite of passage

noun
1.
Anthropology. a ceremony performed to facilitate or mark a person's change of status upon any of several highly important occasions, as at the onset of puberty or upon entry into marriage or into a clan.
2.
any important act or event that serves to mark a passage from one stage of life to another.
Origin
1955-1960
1955-60
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for rite of passage

rite of passage

/French rit də pɑsaʒ/
noun
1.
a ceremony performed in some cultures at times when an individual changes his status, as at puberty and marriage
2.
a significant event in a transitional period of someone's life
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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rite of passage in Medicine

rite of passage n.
A ritual or ceremony signifying an event in a person's life indicative of a transition from one stage to another, as from adolescence to adulthood.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for rite of passage

passage rite

ceremonial event, existing in all historically known societies, that marks the passage from one social or religious status to another. This article describes these rites among various societies throughout the world, giving greatest attention to the most common types of rites; explains their purposes from the viewpoints of the people observing the rites; and discusses their social, cultural, and psychological significance as seen by scholars seeking to gain an understanding of human behaviour.

Learn more about passage rite with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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