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ritual

[rich-oo-uh l] /ˈrɪtʃ u əl/
noun
1.
an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.
2.
a system or collection of religious or other rites.
3.
observance of set forms in public worship.
4.
a book of rites or ceremonies.
5.
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.
6.
a prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service:
the ritual of the dead.
7.
prescribed, established, or ceremonial acts or features collectively, as in religious services.
8.
any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner.
9.
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.
10.
Psychiatry. a specific act, as hand-washing, performed repetitively to a pathological degree, occurring as a common symptom of obsessive-compulsive neurosis.
adjective
11.
of the nature of or practiced as a rite or ritual:
a ritual dance.
12.
of or relating to rites or ritual:
ritual laws.
Origin
1560-1570
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
Synonyms
1. See ceremony. 11. ceremonial, formal, sacramental.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

ritual

/ˈrɪtjʊəl/
noun
1.
the prescribed or established form of a religious or other ceremony
2.
such prescribed forms in general or collectively
3.
stereotyped activity or behaviour
4.
(psychol) any repetitive behaviour, such as hand-washing, performed by a person with a compulsive personality disorder
5.
any formal act, institution, or procedure that is followed consistently: the ritual of the law
adjective
6.
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
adj.

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

nj.

1640s, from ritual (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ritual in Medicine

ritual rit·u·al (rĭch'ōō-əl)
n.
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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Encyclopedia Article for ritual

the performance of ceremonial acts prescribed by tradition or by sacerdotal decree. Ritual is a specific, observable mode of behaviour exhibited by all known societies. It is thus possible to view ritual as a way of defining or describing humans.

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