Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To set going by taking the first step; begin: initiated trade with developing nations. See Synonyms at begin.
  • transitive v. To introduce to a new field, interest, skill, or activity.
  • transitive v. To admit into membership, as with ceremonies or ritual.
  • adj. Initiated or admitted, as to membership or a position of authority.
  • adj. Instructed in esoteric knowledge.
  • adj. Introduced to something new.
  • n. One who is being or has been initiated.
  • n. One who has been introduced to or has attained knowledge in a particular field.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A new member of an organization.
  • n. One who has been through a ceremony of initiation.
  • v. To begin; to start.
  • v. To instruct in the rudiments or principles; to introduce.
  • v. To confer membership on; especially, to admit to a secret order with mysterious rites or ceremonies.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To introduce by a first act; to make a beginning with; to set afoot; to originate; to commence; to begin or enter upon.
  • transitive v. To acquaint with the beginnings; to instruct in the rudiments or principles; to introduce.
  • transitive v. To introduce into a society or organization; to confer membership on; especially, to admit to a secret order with mysterious rites or ceremonies.
  • intransitive v. To do the first act; to perform the first rite; to take the initiative.
  • adj. Unpracticed; untried; new.
  • adj. Begun; commenced; introduced to, or instructed in, the rudiments; newly admitted.
  • n. One who is, or is to be, initiated.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To begin or enter upon; make a beginning of; introduce; set going or on foot.
  • To introduce by preliminary instruction or forms; guide primarily; admit formally; induct: as, to initiate a person into an art, or into a society.
  • To do the first act; perform the first rite; take the initiative.
  • Pertaining or incident to the beginning or introduction; initial or initiatory.
  • Initiated; commencing; introduced to knowledge; prepared for instruction.
  • n. One who is initiated; specifically, one who has been admitted to a knowledge of or participation in secret doctrines, mystic rites, or the like.

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

  • v. set in motion, start an event or prepare the way for
  • v. bring up a topic for discussion
  • v. accept people into an exclusive society or group, usually with some rite
  • n. someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field
  • n. someone new to a field or activity
  • v. bring into being
  • n. people who have been introduced to the mysteries of some field or activity
  • v. take the lead or initiative in; participate in the development of

Etymologies

Latin initiāre, initiāt-, from initium, beginning; see ei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin initiātus, perfect passive participle of initiō ("begin, originate"), from initium ("a beginning"), from ineō ("go in, enter upon, begin"), from in +  ("go"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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