I have found the word rite or ritual used separately and have also found written together like "rite and ritual". But, what are differences between them. If they are related to religions, Give me examples of both rite and ritual from Hindu and christian or buddhist relegion.

  • 3
    First you should show your own work. For example, from a dictionary.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 17:23
  • It would be better to be understood from my question itself where i have stated about rite and ritual written together and wrtten together, we can find these words if googled, Let alone showing dictionery
    – yubraj
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 17:35
  • It would actually be better if you read and complied with the rules of this site! One reason for closing a question reads: "Please include the research you've done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic." That is why GEdgar posted his comment.
    – TrevorD
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 23:27

2 Answers 2


Oxford Dictionaries On-line defines rite as a religious or other solemn ceremony or act.

Ritual is defined as a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order: e.g. ancient fertility rituals

Both words are clearly closely connected. However rite is used more as a headline term that refers to a particular ceremony, the detailed enactment of which constitutes a ritual.

For example one could say that baptism was a Christian rite. But if one was describing the detailed manner in which it takes place, which varies greatly by denomination, one would be describing a number of different rituals

Both terms are used extensively in a metaphorical or figurative sense. e.g. The ritual of Sunday lunch in the Johnson household is unfailingly consistent.


Not much difference. Both rite and ritual can be count nouns, referring to individual formal events.

  • The prescribed rite/ritual for the blessing of a public house by a subdeacon takes an hour.

However, ritual (and not rite) also has an abstract non-count sense as well,
referring to the state of having formal rites in the first place.

  • There is enormous symbolism in ritual, especially religious ritual.

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