- a building for public Christian worship.
- public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly.
- (sometimes initial capital letter) the whole body of Christian believers; Christendom.
- (sometimes initial capital letter) any division of this body professing the same creed and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; a Christian denomination: the Methodist Church.
- that part of the whole Christian body, or of a particular denomination, belonging to the same city, country, nation, etc.
- a body of Christians worshipping in a particular building or constituting one congregation: She is a member of this church.
- ecclesiastical organization, power, and affairs, as distinguished from the state: separation of church and state; The missionary went wherever the church sent him.
- the clergy and religious officials of a Christian denomination.
- the Christian faith: a return of intellectuals to the church.
- (initial capital letter) the Christian Church before the Reformation.
- (initial capital letter) the Roman Catholic Church.
- the clerical profession or calling: After much study and contemplation, he was prepared to enter the church.
- a place of public worship of a non-Christian religion.
- any non-Christian religious society, organization, or congregation: the Jewish church.
- to conduct or bring to church, especially for special services.
- South Midland and Southern U.S. to subject to church discipline.
- to perform a church service of thanksgiving for (a woman after childbirth).
Origin of church
- Frederick Edwin,1826–1900, U.S. painter.
Examples from the Web for church
The Via Dolorosa ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and is marked by nine stations of the cross.Oops! Jesus’ Last Steps Are in the Wrong Place
January 6, 2015
Church bells pealed from St. Catherine of Siena parish one block away.The Louisiana Racists Who Courted Steve Scalise
January 3, 2015
If they returned to their church, they would be spared a second attack.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’
January 2, 2015
The church was not happy with his views, and there was talk of excommunication.Mario Cuomo, a Frustrating Hero to Democrats, Is Dead at 82
January 2, 2015
In a 2009 interview, Church apostle Dallin H. Oaks held that the Church “does not have a position” on that point.Your Husband Is Definitely Gay: TLC’s Painful Portrait of Mormonism
January 1, 2015
"And of course we must go to the Episcopal church there," said Psyche.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
He had communicated with Mr Clayton's church for many years.
The thin examiner held the high office of deacon of the church.
You must propose an examination of his affairs on the part of the church.
Well, it might be—why had he not selected an elder member of the Church?
- 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
- Church of England to bring (someone, esp a woman after childbirth) to church for special ceremonies
- US to impose church discipline upon
- Charlotte. born 1986, Welsh soprano, who made her name with the album Voice of an Angel (1998) when she was 12
Word Origin and History for church
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.
"to bring or lead to church," mid-14c., from church (n.). Related: Churched.
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.
Idioms and Phrases with church
see poor as a churchmouse.