[ ek-yoo-men-i-kuhl or, especially British, ee-kyoo- ]
/ ˈɛk yʊˈmɛn ɪ kəl or, especially British, ˈi kyʊ- /
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general; universal.
pertaining to the whole Christian church.
promoting or fostering Christian unity throughout the world.
of or relating to a movement (ecumenical movement ), especially among Protestant groups since the 1800s, aimed at achieving universal Christian unity and church union through international interdenominational organizations that cooperate on matters of mutual concern.
interreligious or interdenominational: an ecumenical marriage.
including or containing a mixture of diverse elements or styles; mixed: an ecumenical meal of German, Italian, and Chinese dishes.



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Also ec·u·men·ic; Archaic, oec·u·men·i·cal, oec·u·men·ic.

Origin of ecumenical

1835–45; <Late Latin oecumenicus belonging to the whole inhabited world (<Greek oikoumenikós, equivalent to oikoumen- (stem of passive present participle of oikeîn to inhabit) + -ikos-ic) + -al1


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for ecumenical


oecumenical ecumenic or oecumenic

/ (ˌiːkjʊˈmɛnɪkəl, ˌɛk-) /


of or relating to the Christian Church throughout the world, esp with regard to its unity
  1. tending to promote unity among Churches
  2. of or relating to the international movement initiated among non-Catholic Churches in 1910 aimed at Christian unity: embodied, since 1937, in the World Council of Churches
rare universal; general; worldwide

Derived forms of ecumenical

ecumenically or oecumenically, adverb

Word Origin for ecumenical

C16: via Late Latin from Greek oikoumenikos, from oikein to inhabit, from oikos house
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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