Etymology
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rite (n.)

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).

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ritual (adj.)

1560s, "pertaining to or consisting of a rite or rites," from French ritual or directly from Latin ritualis "relating to (religious) rites," from ritus "religious observance or ceremony, custom, usage," (see rite). By 1630s as "done as or in the manner of a rite" (as in ritual murder, attested by 1896). Related: Ritually.

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*re- 

*rē-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to reason, count;" a variant of PIE root *ar-, also arə-, "to fit together." 

It forms all or part of: Alfred; arraign; arithmetic; Conrad; dread; Eldred; Ethelred; hatred; hundred; kindred; logarithm; Ralph; rate (n.) "estimated value or worth;" rathskeller; ratify; ratio; ration; read; reason; rede; rhyme; riddle (n.1) "word-game;" rite; ritual.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit radh- "to succeed, accomplish;" Greek arithmos "number, amount;" Latin reri "to consider, confirm, ratify," ritus "rite, religious custom;" Old Church Slavonic raditi "to take thought, attend to;" Old Irish im-radim "to deliberate, consider;" Old English rædan "to advise, counsel, persuade; read;" Old English, Old High German rim "number;" Old Irish rim "number," dorimu "I count."

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unction (n.)
"act of anointing as a religious rite," late 14c., from Latin unctionem (nominative unctio) "anointing," from unctus, past participle of ungere "to anoint" (see unguent).
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ceremony (n.)

late 14c., cerymonye, "a religious observance, a solemn rite," from Old French ceremonie and directly from Medieval Latin ceremonia, from Latin caerimonia "holiness, sacredness; awe; reverent rite, sacred ceremony," an obscure word, possibly of Etruscan origin, or a reference to the ancient rites performed by the Etruscan pontiffs at Caere, near Rome.

Introduced in English by Wyclif. Also from late 14c. as "a conventional usage of politeness, formality." Disparaging sense of "mere formality" is by 1550s.

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unconfirmed (adj.)
1560s, "not having received the rite of confirmation," from un- (1) "not" + confirmed. Meaning "not supported by further evidence" is attested from 1670s.
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sacral (adj.)

1767, in anatomy, "of or pertaining to the sacrum," the bone at the base of the spine (see sacrum), from Modern Latin sacralis. In anthropology, "pertaining to religious rites," 1882, from Latin sacrum "sacred thing, rite," neuter of sacer "sacred" (see sacred). Related: sacralization; sacrality.

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ceremonious (adj.)

1550s, "relating to outward forms or rites," also, of persons, "punctilious in matters of formality," from French cérémonieux or directly from Late Latin caerimoniosus, from Latin caerimonia "reverent rite, sacred ceremony" (see ceremony). Meaning "full of show and ceremony" is from 1610s. Related: Ceremoniously; ceremoniousness.

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tonsure (n.)
late 14c., "shaving of the head or part of it," especially as a religious rite, from Anglo-French tonsure (mid-14c.), Old French tonsure "ecclesiastical tonsure; sheep-shearing" (14c.), from Latin tonsura "a shearing, clipping," from tonsus, past participle of tondere "to shear, shave, clip, crop," from PIE *tend-, from root *tem- "to cut." The verb is attested from 1706 (implied in tonsured). Related: Tonsuring.
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espouse (v.)

mid-15c., "to take as spouse, marry," from Old French espouser "marry, take in marriage, join in marriage" (11c., Modern French épouser), from Latin sponsare, past participle of spondere "make an offering, perform a rite, promise secretly," hence "to engage oneself by ritual act" (see sponsor (n.)). Extended sense of "adopt, embrace" a cause, party, etc., is from 1620s. Related: Espoused; espouses; espousing. For initial e-, see e-.

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