Inauguration Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It?

Searching for information on the meaning of inauguration? If so, you’re in the right place! Read on to get the scoop on inauguration’s definition.

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You likely know that Inauguration Day occurs every four years on January 20th — or January 21st, if the 20th falls on a Sunday — at the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC, but do you know what the word inauguration means? We’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’re exploring the term inauguration to uncover its definition, origin, synonyms, and antonyms. We’ll also go over a few examples to show you how to use it in a sentence. 

By the end of this post, you should have a complete understanding of the word inauguration and feel comfortable making it a part of your spoken and written vocabulary. Are you ready to get started? 

What Is the Definition of Inauguration?

The noun inauguration refers to being introduced into a system, period, or policy. Many trusted dictionaries like Cambridge English Dictionary and Lexico tell us that the noun can also refer to the formal admission of someone to office — think “the President’s inauguration.” 

In the English language, the noun has seen regular use since at least the 16th century, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, very much in the same way it is used today. 

Deriving from the Late Latin inaugurationem, for many years this noun was used to commemorate the succession of new leaders. 

Elected officials like governors and others are inducted in inauguration ceremonies; the most well-known is in the inauguration of the presidents.

What Is the Etymology of Inauguration?

To understand the meaning of a word, one of the best tools is studying a word’s origin — AKA, its etymology! 

Etymology, in essence, is the back story of a word, tracing all the ways it has changed throughout time. With its first known recorded use in the 1560s, inauguration ultimately derives from the Late Latin verb inaugurāre — to consecrate by augury. 

An augury in Ancient Rome was a ceremony held by an augur. An augur was a sort of priest or soothsayer of the time. Back in ancient times, augurs were consulted before any lawmaker could officially take a position in office. 

In the United States of America, the inauguration of the U.S. President is to always happen on January 20th following an election. January 21st is allowed only if January 20th falls on a Sunday.

Former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first president to use this date set by the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Inauguration?

If you consult any thesaurus, you’ll quickly see that there is quite an array of words that we can use in place of the noun inauguration. 

These “synonyms” are phrases or words that have a similar or often the same definition as another word. 

Not only do antonyms and synonyms help us to avoid repeating ourselves in conversation, but they are also a superb way of expanding our knowledge of the English language.

Below are examples of synonyms:

  • Investiture
  • Formal beginning
  • Swearing in
  • Ceremonial induction
  • Startup
  • Initiation
  • Inaugural ceremony
  • Inception
  • Origination
  • New System
  • Formal ceremony
  • Establishment
  • Induction
  • Inauguration speech
  • Baptism
  • Presidential inauguration
  • Enthronement
  • Starting point
  • Installation
  • Inaugural address
  • Commencement
  • Launch
  • Initiation ceremony
  • Appointment
  • Dawn
  • A ceremony
  • Debut
  • Foundation

When a word has the opposite meaning to your original, we refer to these as antonyms. Just like synonyms, these alternate definitions are actually a great way to memorize the definition of the original word. 

Below are example antonyms:

  • Closure
  • Demise
  • Adjournment
  • Grand finale
  • Final curtain
  • Final scene
  • Last act
  • Black balling
  • Rejection
  • Bankruptcy
  • Eventide
  • Discontinuation
  • Dismissal
  • Final act
  • Removal
  • Stamping out
  • Discharge
  • Pulling down
  • Defeasance
  • Invalidation
  • Tearing down
  • Suppression
  • Dissolution
  • Closing down
  • Renovation
  • Doing away with

How Can Inauguration Be Used in a Sentence?

Now that you understand the etymology and meaning behind the noun, let’s review how to properly use inauguration in a sentence. Try using inauguration in a sentence today! 

Do you remember when then president-elect Biden was reading his inauguration speech? Look at him now! 

Our inauguration has been delayed over and over by strikes.

My grandfather vividly recalls being able to see C.Coolidge give his 1925 inauguration speech in person; that is how old he is. 

The translation of inauguration in Portuguese is inaugurar.

Did you read that piece by the Washington Post on Obama, the White House, and Biden’s inauguration speech?

I repeatedly tried to make a phone call during the inauguration, but I was seemingly in a dead zone.

Were you aware that the former U.S. President W.H. Harrison had the longest inaugural speech tuning in a whopping 8,460 words compared to the average of 2,000 they are today?


In short, inauguration (pronounced in-aw-gyuh-rey-shuhn) can be used to refer to the act of inducting many elected officials.  

That said, it will always be synonymous in the U.S. with January 20th, the presidential inauguration, as well as the inauguration ceremony that follows every new president. 


  1. Home | Oxford English Dictionary
  2. INAUGURATION : Meaning & Definition for UK English |
  3. INAUGURAL : definition | Cambridge English Dictionary
  4. Inauguration synonyms : Words and Phrases for Inauguration | Power Thesaurus