If you want to end the feud between your siblings, you might need to initiate peace talks — and come up with a fair way to decide who gets the top bunk. As a verb, initiate means to start. As a noun, initiate refers to someone who has been inducted into a group.

Initiate is tricky because you pronounce the last bit one way as a verb (i-ni-she-ate) and another when it's a noun (i-ni-she-at). If you're an initiate, you've been introduced to a field of study, an activity, a club, etc. As a verb, to initiate is to begin, pioneer, or broach a topic. You might say, "Let's initiate the swearing-in ceremony so our new initiates can join the Rule-Breakers' Club and still get home without missing their curfews."

Definitions of initiate
  1. verb
    set in motion, start an event or prepare the way for
    synonyms: lead up
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    type of:
    originate, start
    bring into being
  2. verb
    take the lead or initiative in; participate in the development of
    synonyms: pioneer
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    strike up
    innovate, introduce
    bring something new to an environment
    activate, actuate, set off, spark, spark off, touch off, trigger, trigger off, trip
    put in motion or move to act
    constitute, establish, found, institute, plant
    set up or lay the groundwork for
    arrange, stage
    plan, organize, and carry out (an event)
    put up or launch
    attempt, set about, undertake
    enter upon an activity or enterprise
    devise, get up, machinate, organise, organize, prepare
    arrange by systematic planning and united effort
    phase in
    introduce gradually
    open up, pioneer
    open up an area or prepare a way
    set or place definitely
    arrange for an illegal dogfight
    tee up
    make detailed arrangements or preparations
    arrange in phases or stages
    mount, put on
    prepare and supply with the necessary equipment for execution or performance
    prepare or position for action or operation
    set up
    begin, or enable someone else to begin, a venture by providing the means, logistics, etc.
    make into a sandwich
    prepare for eating if or as if a spatchcock
    present for the first time to the public
    prepare for battle or conflict
    appoint, constitute, name, nominate
    create and charge with a task or function
    type of:
    cause, do, make
    give rise to; cause to happen or occur, not always intentionally
  3. verb
    bring into being
    “He initiated a new program”
    synonyms: originate, start
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    lead up
    set in motion, start an event or prepare the way for
    apply or start
    date back, date from, go back
    belong to an earlier time
    go back in order of genealogical succession
    type of:
    create, make
    make or cause to be or to become
  4. verb
    bring up a topic for discussion
    synonyms: broach, moot
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    address, cover, deal, handle, plow, treat
    act on verbally or in some form of artistic expression
    theologise, theologize
    treat from a theological viewpoint or render theological in character
    discourse, discuss, talk about
    consider or examine in speech or writing
    type of:
    discuss, hash out, talk over
    speak with others about (something); talk (something) over in detail; have a discussion
  5. verb
    accept people into an exclusive society or group, usually with some rite
    “African men are initiated when they reach puberty”
    synonyms: induct
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    type of:
    admit, include, let in
    allow participation in or the right to be part of; permit to exercise the rights, functions, and responsibilities of
  6. noun
    someone new to a field or activity
    synonyms: beginner, novice, tiro, tyro
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    a novice learning the rudiments of some subject
    apprentice, intern, learner, prentice
    someone who works for an expert to learn a trade
    cub, greenhorn, rookie
    an awkward and inexperienced youth
    landlubber, landsman, lubber
    an inexperienced sailor; a sailor on the first voyage
    entrant, fledgeling, fledgling, freshman, neophyte, newbie, newcomer, starter
    any new participant in some activity
    an inexperienced person (especially someone inexperienced in outdoor living)
    someone who is being trained
    cadet, plebe
    a military trainee (as at a military academy)
    printer's devil
    an apprentice in a printing establishment
    enlistee, recruit
    any new member or supporter (as in the armed forces)
    type of:
    unskilled person
    a person who lacks technical training
  7. noun
    someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field
    synonyms: learned person, pundit, savant
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    a person of great and varied learning
    type of:
    bookman, scholar, scholarly person, student
    a learned person (especially in the humanities); someone who by long study has gained mastery in one or more disciplines
  8. noun
    people who have been introduced to the mysteries of some field or activity
    “it is very familiar to the initiate
    synonyms: enlightened
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    people who have not been introduced to the mysteries of some field or activity
    type of:
    (plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively
Word Family

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