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the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice:
a story that has come down to us by popular tradition.
something that is handed down:
the traditions of the Eskimos.
a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting:
The rebellious students wanted to break with tradition.
a continuing pattern of culture beliefs or practices.
a customary or characteristic method or manner:
The winner took a victory lap in the usual track tradition.

(among Jews) body of laws and doctrines, or any one of them, held to have been received from Moses and originally handed down orally from generation to generation.
(among Christians) a body of teachings, or any one of them, held to have been delivered by Christ and His apostles but not originally committed to writing.
(among Muslims) a hadith.

Law. an act of handing over something to another, especially in a formal legal manner; delivery; transfer.
Contemporary Examples

The tradition of putting candles on Christmas trees actually began in Germany.
A Holiday Lesson from Auschwitz Christopher Buckley December 25, 2009

Breaking with tradition, Rogers was a guest to the state dinner, which honored Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife.
‘They Need a Spanking’ Rebecca Dana, Lloyd Grove November 27, 2009

These Republicans routinely proclaim themselves to be acting in the tradition of Ronald Reagan.
What Reagan Could Tell the Right Matthew Dallek November 13, 2009

I hope he will start listening to the teachings of his own tradition.
Santorum Obliquely Suggests Obama Worships Earth, Not God Kirsten Powers February 20, 2012

To disavow those moral responsibilities, our tradition suggests, is to not be truly free.
Obama to Israelis: ‘The World Can Change’ Peter Beinart March 20, 2013

Historical Examples

There is a tradition that this room was fitted up as a library in 1472.
The Care of Books John Willis Clark

But the reception they got departed from tradition and propriety.
The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad

Of the first thirty Popes it is said by Christian tradition that all but two were martyrs.
Darkness and Dawn Frederic W. Farrar

For him, tradition reigned, and law was ever laying out the way.
Tiverton Tales Alice Brown

Lefin chose to remedy that by abandoning entirely the tradition, and by writing exactly as the people spoke.
The History of Yiddish Literature in the Nineteenth Century Leo Wiener

the handing down from generation to generation of the same customs, beliefs, etc, esp by word of mouth
the body of customs, thought, practices, etc, belonging to a particular country, people, family, or institution over a relatively long period
a specific custom or practice of long standing
(Christianity) a doctrine or body of doctrines regarded as having been established by Christ or the apostles though not contained in Scripture
(often capital) (Judaism) a body of laws regarded as having been handed down from Moses orally and only committed to writing in the 2nd century ad
the beliefs and customs of Islam supplementing the Koran, esp as embodied in the Sunna
(law, mainly Roman law, Scots law) the act of formally transferring ownership of movable property; delivery

late 14c., from Old French tradicion (late 13c.), from Latin traditionem (nominative traditio) “delivery, surrender, a handing down,” from traditus, past participle of tradere “deliver, hand over,” from trans- “over” (see trans-) + dare “to give” (see date (n.1)). The word is a doublet of treason (q.v.). The notion in the modern sense of the word is of things “handed down” from generation to generation.

any kind of teaching, written or spoken, handed down from generation to generation. In Mark 7:3, 9, 13, Col. 2:8, this word refers to the arbitrary interpretations of the Jews. In 2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6, it is used in a good sense. Peter (1 Pet. 1:18) uses this word with reference to the degenerate Judaism of the “strangers scattered” whom he addresses (comp. Acts 15:10; Matt. 15:2-6; Gal. 1:14).


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