not being a member of a church; not attending any church.

Origin of unchurched

First recorded in 1675–85; un-1 + church + -ed2



verb (used with object)

to expel (a person) from a church; excommunicate.
to deprive of the character and rights of a church.

Origin of unchurch

First recorded in 1610–20; un-2 + church
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unchurched

Historical Examples of unchurched

  • Why should we be "unchurched" any more than the continental churches?

    The Story of My Life

    Egerton Ryerson

  • The elfin race were supposed to be on the watch for unchurched or unsained mothers to have the benefit of their milk.

    The Science of Fairy Tales

    Edwin Sidney Hartland

  • I have listened, of a Monday morning, to an essay in a ministers' meeting on the problem of the "Unchurched."

    By the Christmas Fire

    Samuel McChord Crothers

  • Especially in Beaverhead and Hughes, this area is unchurched and to a great extent neglected.

  • It has unchurched millions, is still unchurching at a tremendous rate, and will end by unchurching itself.

British Dictionary definitions for unchurched


verb (tr)

to excommunicate
to remove church status from (a building)
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 unchurched

1680s, from un- (1) "not" + churched "committed or belonging to a church" (see church (v.)). A verb, unchurch "to remove or exclude (someone) from membership in a church" is recorded from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper