Definition of tradition in US English:

tradition

noun

  • 1The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.

    ‘every shade of color is fixed by tradition and governed by religious laws’
    • ‘The denizens, be they peers or peasants, are weighed down by tradition and inertia, living out their lives according to exactly the same patterns as their ancestors.’
    • ‘At the level of scholarship their writings certainly show that Chinese thought was then by no means as bound by tradition as is generally thought.’
    • ‘In a break with tradition, several professors at the academy have established a memorial prize to honor the young man who was anything but traditional.’
    • ‘Either by tradition or practice, these widows have been denied their fundamental rights of equitable justice.’
    • ‘Significantly, her decision not to vote with the consensus view marked a break with tradition among those attending their first meeting and may signal an appetite for a fight.’
    • ‘In many ways, the two incumbents are past their sell-by dates, preserved as majors not by reality, but by tradition and maudlin sentimentality.’
    • ‘The break with tradition has generated a heated debate on Internet fans' forums over the weekend, with supporters divided on the proposed name change.’
    • ‘The fact that you have not been seemingly bound by tradition in either format or construction of this journal is certainly refreshing.’
    • ‘The Royal Family and the Army are inextricably bound up by tradition and personal links.’
    • ‘In any case people can no longer afford to celebrate the many festivals handed down to them by tradition and for many it is just a day to rest tired and aching limbs.’
    • ‘As parents, the Imperial couple generally abided by tradition, albeit with a few big changes triggered by the war.’
    • ‘A Caliph is the civil and religious leader of a Muslim state; a successor of Muhammad and by tradition always male.’
    • ‘By definition, a legend is an unverified story handed down by tradition.’
    • ‘They are required to by tradition and tribal law passed down by generations of swing elders.’
    • ‘Let's not be hidebound by tradition and calendars.’
    • ‘By tradition the Conservative leader emerged after consultation among senior party figures.’
    • ‘The bride, who was by tradition slightly late for the ceremony, faltered as she spoke in front of family, friends and celebrities.’
    • ‘This marked a notable break with tradition as the convention was always held in Dunmore before this.’
    • ‘Do they have the guts to break with tradition, to govern for all, especially for the economically dispossessed and socially displaced?’
    • ‘Riches are now measured in human attitudes and aptitudes - things heavily influenced by tradition.’
    historical convention, unwritten law, oral history, heritage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another.
      ‘Japan's unique cultural traditions’
      • ‘Customs and traditions are handed down from generation to generation but that does not make them right.’
      • ‘He also had a great attachment to the folklore and cultural traditions of the general Irishtown area.’
      • ‘Hardy wrote of country habits and traditions which had passed away but, though historical in form, the novels had a contemporary overtone.’
      • ‘This hindered the ability to pass on whaling traditions to future generations.’
      • ‘This has also resulted in many folk beliefs and cultural traditions being turned upside down.’
      • ‘Women are subject to this discourse both in the name of religion as well as in the name of age-old customs and traditions.’
      • ‘You may feel oppressed by traditions and traditional people in the family if you allow them to interfere in your life.’
      • ‘Basotho are a nation that has solid traditions, beliefs and customs.’
      • ‘Apparently we must now dilute our own customs and traditions and deny our religion.’
      • ‘Such traditions generate belief, allowing future rituals to produce placebo effects.’
      • ‘Their labels and names represent both villages and families, with generations of winemaking traditions.’
      • ‘She was devoted to her family and had a great fondness for the traditions and customs which were part of her upbringing.’
      • ‘The excellence of the collection can be demonstrated by the way she deals with supernatural belief traditions.’
      • ‘The age old customs and traditions of the Tamils are held in high esteem by Keralites and they are preserved in modern Kerala.’
      • ‘Many immigrants preserve their cultural traditions for multiple generations, with art playing a key role.’
      • ‘Lanna folkdances are unique and colorful traditions that are passed on through generations.’
      • ‘Such a state of confusing dilemma caused heavy blow to the age-old traditions and beliefs of these cultures.’
      • ‘Now even its own people are abandoning their traditions and beliefs.’
      • ‘Passing on Hindu traditions to the younger generation has always been a duty of parents.’
      • ‘Did you see a lot of those cultural beliefs or traditions going on while you were there, or was it more medical?’
      custom, practice, convention, ritual, ceremony, observance, wont, routine, way, rule, usage, habit
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2in singular An artistic or literary method or style established by an artist, writer, or movement, and subsequently followed by others.
      ‘visionary works in the tradition of William Blake’
      • ‘And I think there's a tradition of writers from Defoe to Burgess who see the business of writing as communicating, and turn their hands to different forms.’
      • ‘In the tradition of folk artists everywhere, Nana taught her to sew and knit, instilling in her the sense of the art in the handcrafted.’
      • ‘But this Southerner first came into his own as a northern Expressionist in the tradition of Edvard Munch.’
      • ‘Additionally, her characters have exotic and sometimes grotesque attributes that bring to mind the Surrealist tradition.’
      • ‘This profound analysis was entirely in the tradition of the method of Marxist analysis whose supreme exponent was Leon Trotsky.’
      • ‘Cornelius's works, essentially linear in the tradition of Dürer, avoid painterly composition or colour.’
      • ‘Roman comic dramatist who wrote in the tradition of the New Comedy, popular in 4th-century Greece and exemplified by the work of Menander.’
      • ‘Many are truly beautiful and dazzling, in the tradition of a Ray Bradbury novel, but merely the beginning.’
      • ‘His first pictorial works were in the tradition of the renaissance.’
      • ‘This follows in the tradition of the Pre-Raphaelites, the Romantics and, most intriguingly, the British neo-Romantics of the 1940s.’
      • ‘This poem is rooted in the tradition of many Scottish artists of looking confidently and ambitiously to the future of Scotland.’
      • ‘In philosophical terms, deconstruction is a form of relativist scepticism in the tradition of Nietzsche.’
      • ‘To art historians trained in the Warburgian tradition this method would seem as old as art history itself, but it was a novelty for the history of Dutch painting.’
      • ‘In the tradition of Goya - and with genuine skill - he has painted the camp cadavers.’
      • ‘Inspired by his mother's deep love for it's poetry, he wrote lyric poems in the tradition of Hölderlin and Rilke.’
      • ‘The artist claims that, in the tradition of modernism, her work is no more than visible surface.’
      • ‘Witty, flamboyant and scandalous, he was also a diarist in the tradition of Samuel Pepys.’
      • ‘She continues writing articles, and curating exhibitions in the tradition of experimental art.’
      • ‘The ‘shadow poet laureate’ places himself in the tradition of great anti-establishment poets like Byron, Shelley and Blake.’
      • ‘By nature he is a social realist in the tradition of Upton Sinclair, whose novels he reveres along with those of social satirist Evelyn Waugh.’
      style, movement, method
      View synonyms
  • 2Theology
    A doctrine believed to have divine authority though not in the scriptures.

    1. 2.1 (in Christianity) doctrine not explicit in the Bible but held to derive from the oral teaching of Jesus and the Apostles.
      • ‘They dictate that to be a Roman Catholic is to be loyal to the Pope and the institution alone, regardless of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the tradition of the Church.’
      • ‘One conspicuous tradition within Christianity says boldly that people are saved only by and in faith in Jesus Christ.’
      • ‘First, though, let us review the ironic neglect of Spirit in our Western Christian tradition.’
      • ‘Within the Christian tradition, the Eucharist has become the great way of thanksgiving.’
      • ‘Their approach fails to engage the width and breadth of the Christian moral tradition.’
    2. 2.2 (in Judaism) an ordinance of the oral law not in the Torah but held to have been given by God to Moses.
      • ‘Its logic isn't drawn so much from the traditions of Judaism and its reliance on Torah, however.’
      • ‘Every member of the Sanhedrin must be ordained, following a tradition from Moses.’
      • ‘To what extent do reasonably well established Jewish traditions command us?’
      • ‘Jewish tradition emphasizes that the Torah was given not to angels but to human beings.’
      • ‘Jewish tradition says that Kaddish is so powerful that the whole world is maintained because of it.’
      • ‘Jewish tradition teaches that each and every Jew is responsible for one another.’
    3. 2.3 (in Islam) a saying or act ascribed to the Prophet but not recorded in the Koran.
      See Hadith
      • ‘In the report, he also alleged interrogators ridiculed the Muslim religion, its traditions and the Koran.’
      • ‘There is a tradition of the Prophet which shows that he considered knowledge as his weapon.’
      • ‘I speak of Muslim women in history and women as explained in the Qur'an and in the tradition of the Prophet.’
      • ‘His father was a Sufi Muslim, devoted to a tolerant, mystical tradition of Islam.’
      • ‘Thus the incidental killing of women and children has the sanction in the traditions of the Prophet.’
      • ‘One tradition indicates that Muhammad was performing the noon prayer at the mosque of Banu Salama in Medina when he changed direction in the middle of the prayer.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French tradicion, or from Latin traditio(n-), from tradere ‘deliver, betray’, from trans- ‘across’ + dare ‘give’.

Pronunciation

tradition

/trəˈdɪʃ(ə)n//trəˈdiSH(ə)n/