[kurk; Scot. kirk]
  1. Chiefly Scot. and North England. a church.
  2. the Kirk, the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), as distinguished from the Church of England or the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Origin of kirk

1150–1200; Middle English (north and Scots) < Old Norse kirkja church
Related formskirk·like, adjective


  1. Grayson (Louis),1903–1997, U.S. educator: president of Columbia University 1953–68.
  2. a male given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kirk

Contemporary Examples of kirk

Historical Examples of kirk

  • Finally he suggested that if Timmins was "no stuck on his Methodisticals," he might join the kirk.

  • Suffice it that I have helped to lessen Kirk's horse by four of his rogues.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • He was walking to Kirk Michael to visit the old Deemster, who was ill.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • It was to quiet him that she consented to sleep as often as might be at Kirk o' Field.

  • Boys to meet the carriage by Kirk Christ Lezayre at seven o'clock smart.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for kirk


  1. a Scot word for church
  2. a Scottish church

Word Origin for kirk

C12: from Old Norse kirkja, from Old English cirice church


  1. the Kirk informal the Presbyterian Church of Scotland


  1. Norman. 1923–74, prime minister of New Zealand (1972–74)
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 kirk

c.1200, northern England and Scottish dialectal form of church, from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse kirkja "church," from Old English cirice (see church).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper