initiation(redirected from initiating agent)
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in•i•ti•a•tion(ɪˌnɪʃ iˈeɪ ʃən)
2. (nuclear) The action which sets off a chain reaction in a fissile mass which has reached the critical state (generally by the emission of a "spurt" of neutrons).
(See also BEGINNINGS.)
baptism of fire An extremely trying initial experience; a first encounter which tests one to the utmost. The phrase applies literally to the first time a soldier faces battle fire, but even that usage was originally figurative. The expression has its origin in the early Christian belief that an as yet unbaptized believer who suffered martyrdom by fire was thereby baptized, i.e., received into the community of the faithful and consequently saved. A synonymous term for other kinds of martyrdom is baptism of blood. Conventional baptism is called baptism of water.
break the ice To initiate a conversation or make a friendly overture; to overcome existing obstacles, prepare the way; begin, dive in, get started. In the late 16th century, break the ice meant literally to facilitate a ship’s passage by breaking the ice. Soon after, it was used figuratively in regard to any efforts made to begin a new project or to upset the status quo of a stalemate, deadlock, impasse or such. In modern figurative use, break the ice is heard mostly in the context of interpersonal relationships. Any attempt to cut through another person’s reserve is considered “breaking the ice.”
I availed myself of a pause in the conversation to break the ice in relation to the topic which lay nearest my heart. (Henry Rogers, The Eclipse of Faith, 1853)
get one’s feet wet To get a start in or begin something new; to get one’s first taste of, to get the feel of. The allusion is probably to the way a bather tests the water by putting his toes or feet in before committing himself to total immersion.
get the ball rolling To initiate or begin; to assume active leadership of a project, event, or other matter; to set an activity in motion. This expression probably originated in the ancient British game of bandy, a hockeylike sport in which players kept a ball in constant motion as they attempted to score points by getting it in the goal of the opponent. A variation is start the ball rolling.
A related expression, keep the ball rolling, is probably also derived from bandy. It means to continue or to spark renewed interest and enthusiasm in an activity or project already underway. One source credits the popularity of this expression to the 1840 presidential campaign of William Henry Harrison whose followers wrote political slogans on a huge paper ball and then pushed it from city to city shouting, “Keep the ball rolling.”
get under way To get started, begin moving. This is borrowed from an old nautical idiom under way ‘in forward motion.’
pave the way See PREPARATION.
ring up the curtain on To begin or initiate a project, plan, or activity; to start the ball rolling. Originally limited to use in the theater, this expression referred to raising the curtain on cue (usually the ringing of a bell) to mark the start of a performance. Though still used in this theatrical context, ring up the curtain on is often applied figuratively to describe the inauguration of a project or other endeavor.
Before the curtain was rung up on the great spectacular drama of Vaal Krantz … (M. H. Grant, Words by an Eyewitness; The Struggle in Natal, 1901)
A variation is the shortened ring up.
Look sharp below there, gents, … they’re a-going to ring-up. (Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz, 1837)
See also ring down the curtain on, TERMINATION.
|Noun||1.||initiation - a formal entry into an organization or position or office; "his initiation into the club"; "he was ordered to report for induction into the army"; "he gave a speech as part of his installation into the hall of fame"|
inaugural, inauguration - the ceremonial induction into a position; "the new president obviously enjoyed his inauguration"
ceremonial, ceremonial occasion, ceremony, observance - a formal event performed on a special occasion; "a ceremony commemorating Pearl Harbor"
coronation, enthronement, enthronisation, enthronization, investiture - the ceremony of installing a new monarch
bar mitzvah - (Judaism) an initiation ceremony marking the 13th birthday of a Jewish boy and signifying the beginning of religious responsibility; "a bar mitzvah is an important social event"
|2.||initiation - the act of starting something for the first time; introducing something new; "she looked forward to her initiation as an adult"; "the foundation of a new scientific society"|
commencement, start, beginning - the act of starting something; "he was responsible for the beginning of negotiations"
|3.||initiation - wisdom as evidenced by the possession of knowledge; "his knowledgeability impressed me"; "his dullness was due to lack of initiation"|
|4.||initiation - an act that sets in motion some course of events|
the initiation of a rural development programme → la mise en route d'un programme de développement rural
There was a year between initiation and completion of the project → Un an s'est écoulé entre la mise en route du projet et son achèvement.