Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To induct into office by a formal ceremony.
  • transitive v. To cause to begin, especially officially or formally: inaugurate a new immigration policy. See Synonyms at begin.
  • transitive v. To open or begin use of formally with a ceremony; dedicate: inaugurate a community center.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To induct into office with a formal ceremony.
  • v. To dedicate ceremoniously; to initiate something in a formal manner.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Invested with office; inaugurated.
  • transitive v. To introduce or induct into an office with suitable ceremonies or solemnities; to invest with power or authority in a formal manner; to install
  • transitive v. To cause to begin, esp. with formality or solemn ceremony; hence, to set in motion, action, or progress; to initiate; -- used especially of something of dignity or worth or public concern
  • transitive v. To celebrate the completion of, or the first public use of; to dedicate, as a statue.
  • transitive v. To begin with good omens.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To introduce or induct into office with suitable ceremonies; invest formally with an office.
  • To make a formal beginning of; put in action or operation; initiate, especially something of dignity or importance: as, to inaugurate a reform.
  • [The word is often inelegantly applied in this sense, especially in newspapers, to trivial or ignoble subjects.
  • To institute or initiate the use of, especially by some formal opening ceremony: as, to inaugurate a railroad, a public building, or a statue.
  • Inaugurated; invested with office; inducted; installed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be a precursor of
  • v. open ceremoniously or dedicate formally
  • v. commence officially

Etymologies

Latin inaugurāre, inaugurāt-, to consecrate by augury : in-, intensive pref.; see in-2 + augurāre, to augur (from augur, soothsayer; see aug- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French inaugurer ("to invest"), from Latin inaugurō ("approve on the basis of omens"), from in ("in") + augur ("an augur"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She pined to put them to bed at seven o'clock, keep them four or five hours of every day in the open air, give them simple, nourishing food, -- in short, inaugurate the wholesome nursery system of her own country.

    Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science Old Series, Vol. 36—New Series, Vol. 10, July 1885

  • As far as we have been able to understand the situation consequent on the choice of Mr. Lincoln to fill the Presidential chair, the policy which he proposes to inaugurate is not necessarily aggressive.

    Disunion in the United States

  • A Protagonist of Silver SOME Financiers who were whetting their tongues on their teeth because the Government had "struck down" silver, and were about to "inaugurate" a season of sweatshed, were addressed as follows by a Member of their honourable and warlike body:

    Fantastic Fables

  • Knox, of course, objected; he preached at St. Andrews before Morton inducted a primate of his clan, but he refused to "inaugurate" the new prelate.

    John Knox and the Reformation

  • Some Financiers who were whetting their tongues on their teeth because the Government had "struck down" silver, and were about to "inaugurate" a season of sweatshed, were addressed as follows by a Member of their honourable and warlike body:

    Fantastic Fables

  • Hidden in our word "inaugurate" is the record of the fact that nothing could be properly begun without the assistance of the augurs.

    Ten Great Religions An Essay in Comparative Theology

  • - to decide whether to 'inaugurate' a government on Nov. 20 or Dec. 1.

    Mexico Tribunal Upholds Election Result

  • "inaugurate" the new graveyard, "they had to shoot a man on purpose."

    The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke, Volume 1

  • "inaugurate" a speech, if you will not settle for known and tested seasoned points.

    WordPress.com News

  • In 2005, Rebar, an arts collective in San Francisco, potently employed a set of parentheses to inaugurate PARKing Day, an annual event inviting the public to set up enjoyable miniature parks within metered parking spaces.

    The English Is Coming!

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