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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 of ritual
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ritually
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The idea that the powers of growth had successfully combated those of blight may have been ritually represented.

  • Guilt is allayed by symbolically and ritually passing it onto another.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • It's the way I shall always think of her—ritually clothed, and pouring out tea to her gods from sacred vessels of colonial silver!

    The Book of Susan Lee Wilson Dodd
  • He wanted eighty roubles, and swore by his kosher Yiddishkeit (ritually pure Judaism) that the affair would cost him seventy-five.

    Ghetto Comedies Israel Zangwill
  • Acts are ritually repeated at the recurrence of the rhythmical points.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • A woman who bears a dead child is a grave, and must be ritually purified as such.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Meanwhile, and above all, the negligent Vestal must be punished; and at once the sacred fire must be ritually rekindled.

    The Unwilling Vestal Edward Lucas White
British Dictionary definitions for ritually

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 ritually

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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ritually 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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