[ih-klee-zee-as-ti-kuh l]


of or relating to the church or the clergy; churchly; clerical; not secular.

Origin of ecclesiastical

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at Ecclesiastes, -ical
Related formsec·cle·si·as·ti·cal·ly, adverban·ti·ec·cle·si·as·ti·cal, adjectivean·ti·ec·cle·si·as·ti·cal·ly, adverbin·ter·ec·cle·si·as·ti·cal, adjectivein·ter·ec·cle·si·as·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·ec·cle·si·as·ti·cal, adjectivenon·ec·cle·si·as·ti·cal·ly, adverbun·ec·cle·si·as·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ecclesiastically

Historical Examples of ecclesiastically

  • In England, Episcopacy is an engine by which the people are ecclesiastically governed.

    Charles I

    Jacob Abbott

  • Europe is in a critical state, politically, ecclesiastically, socially.

  • Politically and ecclesiastically, it was a period of excitement.

    Hugh Miller

    William Keith Leask

  • Yes-so we were taught; and there was a great deal to be said, ecclesiastically, for the teaching.

    Seeing and Hearing

    George W. E. Russell

  • Monk Coniston was, and still is ecclesiastically, in the parish of Hawkshead.

    The Book of Coniston

    William Gershom Collingwood

British Dictionary definitions for ecclesiastically



of or relating to the Christian Church
Derived Formsecclesiastically, adverb
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 ecclesiastically



early 15c., from ecclesiastic + -al (1). Related: Ecclesiastically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper