Meaning of TRADITION in English


tra ‧ di ‧ tion S2 W2 /trəˈdɪʃ ə n/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ tradition , ↑ traditionalist , ↑ traditionalism ; adjective : ↑ traditional , ↑ traditionalist ; adverb : ↑ traditionally ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: Latin traditio 'act of handing over' ; ⇨ ↑ traitor ]

1 . [uncountable and countable] a belief, custom, or way of doing something that has existed for a long time, or these beliefs, customs etc in general:

the traditions of South East Asia

the tradition that the eldest son inherits the property

By tradition, it’s the bride’s parents who pay for the wedding.

2 . (be) in the tradition of somebody/something to have the same features as something that has been made or done in the past:

His paintings are very much in the tradition of Picasso and Matisse.

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■ adjectives/NOUN + tradition

▪ a long tradition

This country has a long tradition of accepting political refugees.

▪ a time-honoured/long-standing tradition (=a long tradition)

In time-honoured tradition, they have a drink in every pub along the high street.

▪ a strong tradition

There is a strong tradition of sport at the school.

▪ an old/ancient tradition

In rural Wales, the old traditions persisted.

▪ a family tradition

According to family tradition, he must sing at his own wedding.

▪ a cultural/religious tradition

cultural traditions that date back many generations

▪ a local tradition

The villagers are all keen to preserve local traditions.

▪ American/British/Western etc tradition

The festival is a part of the Scottish tradition which is worth preserving.

■ verbs

▪ follow a tradition (=do what has been done before)

He followed the family tradition and became a doctor.

▪ maintain/carry on/continue/uphold a tradition (=make a tradition continue in the same way or at the same standard as before)

We maintain a tradition of cider making dating from Norman times.

▪ break with tradition (=not follow a tradition)

Why not break with tradition and study at Leeds, say, or London, instead of Oxford?

▪ establish a tradition

They are continuing a tradition established by the firm’s Victorian founder.

▪ be steeped in tradition (=have many traditions)

It is an area of the country steeped in tradition.

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▪ habit something you do regularly, often without thinking about it:

Biting your nails is a bad habit.


I always go to the same supermarket, out of habit.

▪ mannerism a way of speaking or a small movement of your face or body that is part of your usual behaviour:

Even her mannerisms are the same as her sister’s.

▪ custom something that people in a particular society do because it is traditional or the accepted thing to do:

In Japan it is the custom to take off your shoes when you enter a house.

▪ tradition a belief, custom, or way of doing something that has existed for a long time:

The tradition of giving Easter eggs goes back hundreds of years.


In many countries, it’s a tradition for the bride to wear white.


It was a family tradition to go for a walk on Christmas Day.

▪ practice something that people often do, especially as part of their work or daily life:

The hotel has ended the practice of leaving chocolates in guests’ rooms.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.