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

  • n. The practice or observance of religious ritual.
  • n. Insistence on or adherence to ritual.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The belief that it is necessary for rites or repeated sets of actions to be carried out.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A system founded upon a ritual or prescribed form of religious worship; adherence to, or observance of, a ritual.
  • n. Specifically :(a) The principles and practices of those in the Church of England, who in the development of the Oxford movement, so-called, have insisted upon a return to the use in church services of the symbolic ornaments (altar cloths, encharistic vestments, candles, etc.) that were sanctioned in the second year of Edward VI., and never, as they maintain, forbidden by competennt authority, although generally disused. Schaff-Herzog Encyc. (b) Also, the principles and practices of those in the Protestant Episcopal Church who sympathize with this party in the Church of England.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A system of public worship which consists in forms regularly established by law, precept, or custom, as distinguished from that which is largely extemporaneous and therefore variable and left to the judgment of the conductor of the worship.
  • n. Observance of prescribed forms in religious worship or in reverence of anything.
  • n. Specifically— The science of ritual; the systematic study of liturgical rites.
  • n. An observance of ritual in public worship founded upon a high estimate of the value of symbolism and a belief in the practical importance of established rites, and particularly in the efficacy of sacraments, as having been divinely appointed to be channels of spiritual grace to those who use them; more especially, the principles and practices of those Anglicans who are called Ritualists.

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

  • n. exaggerated emphasis on the importance of rites or ritualistic forms in worship
  • n. the study of religious or magical rites and ceremonies


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

ritual +‎ -ism



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