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."

Primary Meanings of initiate

set in motion, start an event or prepare the way for
accept people into an exclusive society or group, usually with some rite
someone new to a field or activity
Full Definitions of initiate

v set in motion, start an event or prepare the way for

lead up
Type of:
originate, start
bring into being

v take the lead or initiative in; participate in the development of

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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

v bring into being

“He initiated a new program”
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

v bring up a topic for discussion

broach, moot
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

v accept people into an exclusive society or group, usually with some rite

“African men are initiated when they reach puberty”
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

n someone new to a field or activity

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

n someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field

learned person, pundit, savant
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

n people who have been introduced to the mysteries of some field or activity

“it is very familiar to the initiate
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

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