[ lit-er-jee ]
/ ˈlɪt ər dʒi /

noun, plural lit·ur·gies.

a form of public worship; ritual.
a collection of formularies for public worship.
a particular arrangement of services.
a particular form or type of the Eucharistic service.
the service of the Eucharist, especially this service (Divine Liturgy) in the Eastern Church.

Origin of liturgy

1550–60; < Late Latin lītūrgia < Greek leitourgía public service, ecclesiastical Greek: Eucharist, equivalent to leitourg(ós) minister + -ia -y3
Related formsan·ti·lit·ur·gy, adjective
Can be confusedlitany liturgy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for liturgy


/ (ˈlɪtədʒɪ) /

noun plural -gies

the forms of public services officially prescribed by a Church
Also called: Divine Liturgy (often capital) mainly Eastern Churches the Eucharistic celebration
a particular order or form of public service laid down by a Church

Word Origin for liturgy

C16: via Medieval Latin, from Greek leitourgia, from leitourgos minister, from leit- people + ergon work
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 liturgy



1550s, "the service of the Holy Eucharist," from Middle French liturgie or directly from Late Latin/Medieval Latin liturgia "public service, public worship," from Greek leitourgia "a liturgy; public duty, ministration, ministry," from leitourgos "one who performs a public ceremony or service, public servant," from leito- "public" (from laos "people;" cf. leiton "public hall," leite "priestess;" see lay (adj.)) + -ergos "that works," from ergon "work" (see urge (v.)). Meaning "collective formulas for the conduct of divine service in Christian churches" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper