from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The prescribed or customary form for conducting a religious or other solemn ceremony: the rite of baptism.
- n. A ceremonial act or series of acts: fertility rites.
- n. The liturgy or practice of a branch of the Christian church.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A religious custom.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The act of performing divine or solemn service, as established by law, precept, or custom; a formal act of religion or other solemn duty; a solemn observance; a ceremony.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A formal act or series of acts of religious or other solemn service, performed according to a manner regularly established by law, precept, or custom.
- n. The manner or form prescribed for such an act; a ceremonial.
- n. Hence Any ceremony or due observance.
- n. Synonyms Form, Observance, etc. See ceremony.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an established ceremony prescribed by a religion
- n. any customary observance or practice
Middle English, from Latin rītus; see ar- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Via Middle English and Old French, from Latin ritus (Wiktionary)