church

[church]

noun

verb (used with object)


Origin of church

before 900; Middle English chir(i)che, Old English cir(i)ceGreek kȳri(a)kón (dôma) the Lord's (house), neuter of kȳriakós of the master, equivalent to kȳ́ri(os) master (kŷr(os) power + -ios noun suffix) + -akos, variant of -ikos -ic; akin to Dutch kerk, German Kirche, Old Norse kirkja. See kirk
Related formsan·ti·church, adjectivenon·church, nounpro·church, adjective

Church

[church]

noun

Frederick Edwin,1826–1900, U.S. painter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for church

church

noun

a building designed for public forms of worship, esp Christian worship
an occasion of public worship
the clergy as distinguished from the laity
(usually capital) institutionalized forms of religion as a political or social forceconflict between Church and State
(usually capital) the collective body of all Christians
(often capital) a particular Christian denomination or group of Christian believers
(often capital) the Christian religion
(in Britain) the practices or doctrines of the Church of England and similar denominationsCompare chapel (def. 4b) Related adjective: ecclesiastical

verb (tr)

Church of England to bring (someone, esp a woman after childbirth) to church for special ceremonies
US to impose church discipline upon

Word Origin for church

Old English cirice, from Late Greek kurikon, from Greek kuriakon (dōma) the Lord's (house), from kuriakos of the master, from kurios master, from kuros power

Church

noun

Charlotte. born 1986, Welsh soprano, who made her name with the album Voice of an Angel (1998) when she was 12
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

Word Origin and History for church
n.

Old English cirice, circe "church, public place of worship; Christians collectively," from West Germanic *kirika (cf. Old Saxon kirika, Old Norse kirkja, Old Frisian zerke, Middle Dutch kerke, Dutch kerk, Old High German kirihha, German Kirche), probably [see note in OED] from Greek kyriake (oikia), kyriakon doma "Lord's (house)," from kyrios "ruler, lord," from PIE root *keue- "to swell" ("swollen," hence "strong, powerful"); see cumulus. Phonetic spelling from c.1200, established by 16c. For vowel evolution, see bury. As an adjective from 1570s.

Greek kyriakon (adj.) "of the Lord" was used of houses of Christian worship since c.300, especially in the East, though it was less common in this sense than ekklesia or basilike. An example of the direct Greek-to-Germanic progress of many Christian words, via the Goths; it probably was used by West Germanic people in their pre-Christian period.

Also picked up by Slavic, probably via Germanic (e.g. Old Church Slavonic criky, Russian cerkov). Finnish kirkko, Estonian kirrik are from Scandinavian. Romance and Celtic languages use variants of Latin ecclesia (e.g. French église, 11c.).

Church-bell was in late Old English. Church-goer is from 1680s. Church key is early 14c.; slang use for "can or bottle opener" is by 1954, probably originally U.S. college student slang. Church-mouse, proverbial in many languages for its poverty, is 1731 in English.

v.

"to bring or lead to church," mid-14c., from church (n.). Related: Churched.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for church

church

A group of Christians (see also Christian); church is a biblical word for “assembly.” It can mean any of the following: (1) All Christians, living and dead. (See saints.) (2) All Christians living in the world. (3) One of the large divisions or denominations of Christianity, such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, Methodist Church, or Roman Catholic Church. (4) An individual congregation of Christians meeting in one building; also the building itself.

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

Idioms and Phrases with church

church

see poor as a churchmouse.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.