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[rez-uh-rek-shuh n] /ˌrɛz əˈrɛk ʃən/
the act of rising from the dead.
(initial capital letter) the rising of Christ after His death and burial.
(initial capital letter) the rising of the dead on Judgment Day.
the state of those risen from the dead.
a rising again, as from decay, disuse, etc.; revival.
Christian Science. a rising above mortality through the understanding of spiritual life as demonstrated by Jesus Christ.
Origin of resurrection
1250-1300; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin resurrēctiōn- (stem of resurrēctiō) the Easter church-festival, equivalent to resurrēct(us) (past participle of resurgere to rise again; see resurge) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
resurrectional, adjective
resurrective, adjective
nonresurrection, noun
nonresurrectional, adjective
postresurrection, noun
postresurrectional, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for resurrection


a supposed act or instance of a dead person coming back to life
belief in the possibility of this as part of a religious or mystical system
the condition of those who have risen from the dead: we shall all live in the resurrection
the revival of something: a resurrection of an old story
Derived Forms
resurrectional, resurrectionary, adjective
Word Origin
C13: via Old French from Late Latin resurrectiō, from Latin resurgere to rise again; see resurge


noun (Christian theol)
the rising again of Christ from the tomb three days after his death
the rising again from the dead of all mankind at the Last Judgment
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for resurrection

c.1300, originally the name of a Church festival commemorating Christ's rising from death, from Anglo-French resurrectiun, Old French resurrection "the Resurrection of Christ" (12c.) and directly from Church Latin resurrectionem (nominative resurrectio) "a rising again from the dead," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin resurgere "rise again, appear again" (see resurgent). Replaced Old English æriste.

Generalized sense of "revival" is from 1640s. Also used in Middle English of the rising again of the dead on the Last Day (c.1300). Resurrectionist, euphemism for "grave-robber" is attested from 1776. Resurrection pie was mid-19c. English schoolboy slang for a pie made from leftovers of previous meals; first attested 1831 as a Sheffield dialect term.

There was a dreadful pie for dinner every Monday; a meat-pie with a stony crust that did not break; but split into scaly layers, with horrible lumps of gristle inside, and such strings of sinew (alternated by lumps of flabby fat) as a ghoule might use as a rosary. We called it kitten pie--resurrection pie--rag pie--dead man's pie. We cursed it by night we cursed it by day; we wouldn't stand it, we said; we would write to our friends; we would go to sea. ["How I Went to Sea," "Harper's Magazine," December 1852]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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resurrection in Culture

Resurrection definition

The rising of Jesus from the tomb after his death; a central and distinctive belief of the Christian faith. The Gospels state that after Jesus was crucified and lay in a tomb between Friday evening and Sunday morning, he rose, in body as well as in spirit, and appeared alive to his followers. His resurrection is the basis for the Christian belief that not only Jesus but all Christians will triumph over death. Christians celebrate the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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