Definition of rite of passage in US English:

rite of passage


  • A ceremony or event marking an important stage in someone's life, especially birth, puberty, marriage, and death.

    ‘a novel that depicts the state of adolescence and the rites of passage that lead to adulthood’
    • ‘There are no formal initiation ceremonies for the ‘national culture,’ although the twenty-first birthday often is celebrated as a rite of passage into adulthood.’
    • ‘Confirmation as a member of the church is an important rite of passage.’
    • ‘Baptism, first communion, and marriage are considered rites of passage for Andorrans, as they are for most Roman Catholics.’
    • ‘The purchase of the first car is an important rite of passage, as is reaching the age of eighteen when it becomes legal to drive, to vote, and to drink alcohol.’
    • ‘Marriage is another important rite of passage.’
    • ‘The most important rite of passage for a boy is circumcision’
    • ‘The major rite of passage in adulthood is marriage.’
    • ‘Hundreds of thousands of students have been educated in Britain, Australia, and the United States; the experience of leaving Malaysia for training abroad is an important rite of passage for many of the elite.’
    • ‘School graduation ceremonies are a primary rite of passage for most children and young adults.’
    • ‘Universal compulsory military service for a period of at least sixteen months has been mandatory for all eighteen-year-old males and marked an important rite of passage into adulthood.’
    initiation, debut, introduction, inauguration, launch, beginning, rite of passage
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