1. The prescribed or customary form for conducting a religious or other solemn ceremony: the rite of baptism.
2. A ceremonial act or series of acts: fertility rites.
3. Rite The liturgy or practice of a branch of the Christian church.
[Middle English, from Latin rītus; see ar- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.