9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[rich-oo-uh l] /ˈrɪtʃ u əl/
an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.
a system or collection of religious or other rites.
observance of set forms in public worship.
a book of rites or ceremonies.
a book containing the offices to be used by priests in administering the sacraments and for visitation of the sick, burial of the dead, etc.
a prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service:
the ritual of the dead.
prescribed, established, or ceremonial acts or features collectively, as in religious services.
any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner.
a prescribed code of behavior regulating social conduct, as that exemplified by the raising of one's hat or the shaking of hands in greeting.
Psychiatry. a specific act, as hand-washing, performed repetitively to a pathological degree, occurring as a common symptom of obsessive-compulsive neurosis.
of the nature of or practiced as a rite or ritual:
a ritual dance.
of or relating to rites or ritual:
ritual laws.
Origin of ritual
1560-70; < Latin rītuālis, equivalent to rītu-, stem of rītus rite + -ālis -al1
Related forms
ritually, adverb
antiritual, adjective
proritual, adjective
unritual, adjective
unritually, adverb
1. See ceremony. 11. ceremonial, formal, sacramental. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ritual
  • ritual purification at the command of a heroic leader is an ancient and powerful tradition in this part of the world.
  • Her usual ritual is to flip through the course booklet on her own, then call or e-mail her adviser with her plans.
  • No ritual or routine to get things done is effective unless it's effective for you.
  • Nonetheless, the ritual endures, an intimate reminder of the time before stealth applications.
  • It became a ritual for those of us who got jobs to donate to the binder.
  • To remember what special ritual dance you need to do in your specific discipline, you need to actually practice it.
  • In the first, which lasted barely a year, sacred practices and ritual objects were often depicted in a representational style.
  • ritual art-used to connect with the spiritual world through prayer and supplication-can still be found in caves and shrines.
  • His findings of spacious rooms, ritual baths and the remains of gardens stunned scholars and the public alike.
  • Only after performing this purification ritual does he return to his camera.
British Dictionary definitions for ritual


the prescribed or established form of a religious or other ceremony
such prescribed forms in general or collectively
stereotyped activity or behaviour
(psychol) any repetitive behaviour, such as hand-washing, performed by a person with a compulsive personality disorder
any formal act, institution, or procedure that is followed consistently: the ritual of the law
of, relating to, or characteristic of religious, social, or other rituals
Derived Forms
ritually, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin rītuālis, from rītusrite
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 ritual

1560s, from Middle French ritual or directly from Latin ritualis "relating to (religious) rites," from ritus "rite" (see rite). Related: Ritually.


1640s, from ritual (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ritual in Medicine

ritual rit·u·al (rĭch'ōō-əl)
A detailed act or series of acts carried out by an individual to relieve anxiety or to forestall the development of anxiety.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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