• IPA: /ɪˈnɪʃɪeɪt/

initiate (plural initiates)

  1. A new member of an organization.
  2. One who has been through a ceremony of initiation.
Translations Translations Verb

initiate (initiates, present participle initiating; past and past participle initiated)

  1. (transitive) To begin; to start.
    • How are changes of this sort to be initiated?
  2. To instruct in the rudiments or principles; to introduce.
    • Providence would only initiate mankind into the useful knowledge of her treasures, leaving the rest to employ our industry.
    • 1693, [John Locke], “§94”, in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, London: […] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, […], OCLC 1161614482 ↗:
      to initiate his pupil in any part of learning
  3. To confer membership on; especially, to admit to a secret order with mysterious rites or ceremonies.
    • The Athenians believed that he who was initiated and instructed in the mysteries would obtain celestial honour after death.
    • He was initiated into half a dozen clubs before he was one and twenty.
  4. (intransitive) To do the first act; to perform the first rite; to take the initiative.
Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Adjective


  1. (obsolete) Unpractised; untried; new.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iv]:
      the initiate fear that wants hard use
  2. (obsolete) Begun; commenced; introduced to, or instructed in, the rudiments; newly admitted.
    • To rise in science as in bliss, / Initiate in the secrets of the skies.

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