Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

gospel

[gos-puh l]
See more synonyms for gospel on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the teachings of Jesus and the apostles; the Christian revelation.
  2. the story of Christ's life and teachings, especially as contained in the first four books of the New Testament, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
  3. (usually initial capital letter) any of these four books.
  4. something regarded as true and implicitly believed: to take his report for gospel.
  5. a doctrine regarded as of prime importance: political gospel.
  6. glad tidings, especially concerning salvation and the kingdom of God as announced to the world by Christ.
  7. (often initial capital letter) Ecclesiastical. an extract from one of the four Gospels, forming part of the Eucharistic service in certain churches.
  8. gospel music.
Show More
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or proclaiming the gospel or its teachings: a gospel preacher.
  2. in accordance with the gospel; evangelical.
  3. of or relating to gospel music: a gospel singer.
Show More

Origin of gospel

before 950; Middle English go(d)spell, Old English gōdspell (see good, spell2); translation of Greek euangélion good news; see evangel1
Related formsnon·gos·pel, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for gospels

gospel

noun
  1. Also called: gospel truth an unquestionable truthto take someone's word as gospel
  2. a doctrine maintained to be of great importance
  3. Black religious music originating in the churches of the Southern states of the United States
  4. the message or doctrine of a religious teacher
    1. the story of Christ's life and teachings as narrated in the Gospels
    2. the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ
    3. (as modifier)the gospel story
Show More

Word Origin

Old English gōdspell, from gōd good + spell message; see spell ²; compare Old Norse guthspjall, Old High German guotspell

Gospel

noun
  1. any of the first four books of the New Testament, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
  2. a reading from one of these in a religious service
Show More
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 gospels

gospel

n.

Old English godspel "gospel, glad tidings announced by Jesus; one of the four gospels," from god "good" (see good) + spel "story, message" (see spell (n.)); translation of Latin bona adnuntiatio, itself a translation of Greek euangelion "reward for bringing good news."

The first element of the Old English word had a long "o," but it shifted under mistaken association with God. The word passed early from English to continental Germanic languages in forms that clearly indicate the first element had shifted to "God," e.g. Old Saxon godspell, Old High German gotspell, Old Norse goðspiall. Used of anything as true as the Gospel from mid-13c. Gospel-gossip was Addison's word ("Spectator," 1711) for "one who is always talking of sermons, texts, etc."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gospels in Culture

Gospels

The first four books of the New Testament, which tell the life story of Jesus and explain the significance of his message. Gospel means “good news” — in this case, the news of the salvation (see also salvation) made possible by the death and Resurrection of Jesus. The four Gospels are attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Show More

Note

Figuratively, anything that is emphatically true is called the “gospel truth.”

gospel

The “good news” of salvation (see also salvation) (see Gospels). Certain styles of religious music are also called “gospel.” (See spirituals (see also spirituals).)

Show More
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.