Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The prescribed or customary form for conducting a religious or other solemn ceremony.
  • noun A ceremonial act or series of acts.
  • noun The liturgy or practice of a branch of the Christian church.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun The manner or form prescribed for such an act; a ceremonial.
  • noun Hence Any ceremony or due observance.
  • noun Synonyms Form, Observance, etc. See ceremony.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A religious custom.

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

  • noun an established ceremony prescribed by a religion
  • noun any customary observance or practice

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Latin rītus; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Via Middle English and Old French, from Latin ritus

Examples

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