noun, plural re·li·gious.

a member of a religious order, congregation, etc.; a monk, friar, or nun.
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

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for religiously

Contemporary Examples of religiously

Historical Examples of religiously

  • But I've known every bad place in it, and I've religiously put in your "Come, come, child!"

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • She deserves a social culture, she should be religiously venerated.


    Emile Zola

  • These did not appeal to me; I was not religiously inclined just then.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • That is to say religiously married, which is all the Church thinks necessary.

  • Again we are undone, if the French alliance is not religiously observed.

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler

British Dictionary definitions for religiously



of, relating to, or concerned with religion
  1. pious; devout; godly
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the religious
appropriate to or in accordance with the principles of a religion
scrupulous, exact, or conscientious
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


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 religiously

late 14c., "in a religous manner," from religious + -ly (2). Transferred sense of "strictly, scrupulously" attested by 1570s.



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