1 : a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, etc., for a long time
an ancient/old tradition
One of our town's time-honored traditions is to have an Easter egg hunt the week before Easter.
The cheese is made according to tradition. [=made in a way that has been used for many years; made in the traditional way]
We broke with tradition and had goose for Thanksgiving instead of turkey.
By tradition, the celebration begins at midnight.
2 [noncount] : the stories, beliefs, etc., that have been part of the culture of a group of people for a long time
According to tradition, the goddess lies sleeping beneath the mountain.
He studied the Anglo-Saxon oral tradition. [=the stories, beliefs, etc., that a group of people shared by telling stories and talking to each other]
3 [singular] — used to say that someone has qualities which are like the qualities of another well-known person or group of people from the past
He's a politician in the best liberal tradition. [=a politician like other liberal politicians of the past] a politician in the (great/grand) tradition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
a politician in the (great/grand) tradition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt