early 14c., "formal act or procedure of religious observance performed according to an established manner," from Latin ritus "custom, usage," especially "a religious observance or ceremony" (source also of Spanish, Italian rito), which perhaps is from PIE root *re- "to reason, count," on the notion of "to count; to observe carefully." Rite of passage (1909), marking the end of one phase and the start of another in an individual life, is translated from French rite de passage, coined by French anthropologist Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957).
capital of Republic of Congo, named for French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, who founded it in 1883. An Italian count, his title is from the Adriatic island of Brazza, now Brač in Croatia.
Meaning in English apparently developed from "calculate," to "calculate with a view to action, plan," then to "direct a missile, a blow, etc." (late 14c.). Also used in Middle English of directing a letter, planting an altar, pitching a tent. Intransitive sense "intend, attempt" (early 14c.) was used by Shakespeare but is now considered colloquial. Related: Aimed; aiming.