[ ri-lij-uhs ]
See synonyms for religious on
  1. of, relating to, or concerned with religion: a religious holiday.

  2. imbued with or exhibiting religion; pious; devout; godly: a religious man.

  1. scrupulously faithful; conscientious: religious care.

  2. pertaining to or connected with a monastic or religious order.

  3. 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

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English (from Old French ), from Latin religiōsus, equivalent to religi(ō) religion + -ōsus -ous

synonym study For religious

2. 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.

Other words for religious

Opposites for religious

Other words from religious

  • re·li·gious·ly, adverb
  • re·li·gious·ness, noun
  • an·ti·re·li·gious, adjective
  • non·re·li·gious, adjective
  • non·re·li·gious·ness, noun
  • o·ver·re·li·gious, adjective
  • pre·re·li·gious, adjective
  • pseu·do·re·li·gious, adjective
  • qua·si-re·li·gious, adjective
  • ul·tra·re·li·gious, adjective
  • ul·tra·re·li·gious·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with religious

Words Nearby religious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use religious in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for religious


/ (rɪˈlɪdʒəs) /

  1. of, relating to, or concerned with religion

    • pious; devout; godly

    • (as collective noun; preceded by the): the religious

  1. appropriate to or in accordance with the principles of a religion

  2. scrupulous, exact, or conscientious

  3. 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 forms of religious

  • religiously, adverb
  • religiousness, 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