• synonyms


[kong-gri-gey-shuh-nl-iz-uh m]
  1. a form of Protestant church government in which each local religious society is independent and self-governing.
  2. (initial capital letter) the system of government and doctrine of Congregational churches.
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Origin of congregationalism

First recorded in 1640–50; congregational + -ism
Related formscon·gre·ga·tion·al·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for congregationalists

Historical Examples

  • The main body of the Congregationalists, however, adhere to the old Boards.

    The Slavery Question

    John Lawrence

  • The earliest of these buildings were those of the Methodists and Congregationalists.

  • The Congregationalists, on the other hand, inflamed with jealousy, were ripe for rebellion.

  • In this country the Independents took the name of Congregationalists.

  • There is only one church building, however, the Congregationalists'.

British Dictionary definitions for congregationalists


  1. a system of Christian doctrines and ecclesiastical government in which each congregation is self-governing and maintains bonds of faith with other similar local congregations
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Derived FormsCongregationalist, adjective, noun
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

congregationalists in Culture


A Protestant denomination that has roots in the Nonconformists of England. The Congregationalists are much like the Methodists in their teachings. They consider the individual congregation the basic unit of their church, and they practice baptism of infants. Most Congregationalists in the United States belong to the United Church of Christ.

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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.