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  1. of, relating to, or concerned with religion: a religious holiday.
  2. imbued with or exhibiting religion; pious; devout; godly: a religious man.
  3. scrupulously faithful; conscientious: religious care.
  4. pertaining to or connected with a monastic or religious order.
  5. appropriate to religion or to sacred rites or observances.
noun, plural re·li·gious.
  1. a member of a religious order, congregation, etc.; a monk, friar, or nun.
  2. the religious, devout or religious persons: Each year, thousands of the religious make pilgrimages to the shrine.

Origin of religious

1175–1225; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin religiōsus, equivalent to religi(ō) religion + -ōsus -ous
Related formsre·li·gious·ly, adverbre·li·gious·ness, nounan·ti·re·li·gious, adjectivean·ti·re·li·gious·ly, adverbnon·re·li·gious, adjectivenon·re·li·gious·ly, adverbnon·re·li·gious·ness, nouno·ver·re·li·gious, adjectiveo·ver·re·li·gious·ly, adverbpre·re·li·gious, adjectivepseu·do·re·li·gious, adjectivepseu·do·re·li·gious·ly, adverbqua·si-re·li·gious, adjectivequa·si-re·li·gious·ly, adverbul·tra·re·li·gious, adjectiveul·tra·re·li·gious·ly, adverbul·tra·re·li·gious·ness, noun
Can be confusedreligious sacrilegious sacrosanct

Synonyms for religious

See more synonyms for on
2. reverent. Religious, devout, pious indicate a spirit of reverence toward God. Religious is a general word, applying to whatever pertains to faith or worship: a religious ceremony. Devout indicates a fervent spirit, usually genuine and often independent of outward observances: a deeply devout though unorthodox church member. Pious implies constant attention to, and extreme conformity with, outward observances. It can also suggest sham or hypocrisy: a pious hypocrite. 3. devoted, unswerving, meticulous.

Antonyms for religious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nonreligious

profane, secular

Examples from the Web for nonreligious

Contemporary Examples of nonreligious

Historical Examples of nonreligious

British Dictionary definitions for nonreligious


  1. not of or relating to religious beliefs and practices


  1. of, relating to, or concerned with religion
    1. pious; devout; godly
    2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the religious
  2. appropriate to or in accordance with the principles of a religion
  3. scrupulous, exact, or conscientious
  4. Christianity of or relating to a way of life dedicated to religion by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and defined by a monastic rule
  1. Christianity a member of an order or congregation living by such a rule; a monk, friar, or nun
Derived Formsreligiously, adverbreligiousness, noun
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 nonreligious



c.1200, "devout, pious, imbued with or expressive of religious devotion," from Anglo-French religius, Old French religious (12c., Modern French religieux) and directly from Latin religiosus, from religio (see religion). Meaning "pertaining to religion" is from 1530s. Transferred sense of "scrupulous, exact" is recorded from 1590s. Related: Religiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper