church

noun
\ ˈchərch How to pronounce church (audio) \

Definition of church

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a building for public and especially Christian worship
2 : the clergy or officialdom of a religious body the word church … is put for the persons that are ordained for the ministry of the Gospel, that is to say, the clergy— J. Ayliffe
3 often capitalized : a body or organization of religious believers: such as
a : the whole body of Christians the one church is the whole body gathered together from all ages— J. H. Newman
b : denomination the Presbyterian church
c : congregation they had appointed elders for them in every church — Acts 14:23 (Revised Standard Version)
4 : a public divine worship goes to church every Sunday
5 : the clerical profession considered the church as a possible career

church

adjective

Definition of church (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : of or relating to a church church government
2 chiefly British : of or relating to the established church

church

verb
churched; churching; churches

Definition of church (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

: to bring to church to receive one of its rites

Church

biographical name
\ ˈchərch How to pronounce Church (audio) \

Definition of Church (Entry 4 of 4)

Frederic Edwin 1826–1900 American painter

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Synonyms for church

Synonyms: Noun

kirk [chiefly Scottish], tabernacle, temple

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Examples of church in a Sentence

Noun

This is the oldest church in town. They would like to be married in a church. I didn't see you at church last Sunday. He is a member of the Catholic Church. What church do you belong to? the church's attitude toward divorce the separation of church and state
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The home was built in 1973 by Joseph H. Young, great-grandson of Salt Lake City founder Brigham Young and an architect of many church houses, residences, and commercial buildings. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Groovy ’70s time capsule with views galore asks $1M," 1 Oct. 2018 Part of that decline could be due to many churches’ failure to connect young people with church leadership and activities, said Brent Peterson, the dean of Northwest Nazarene University’s School of Theology and Christian Ministries. Nicole Blanchard, idahostatesman, "‘The Mormon exception’: Idaho’s largest religion bucks trends affecting Christianity," 12 July 2018 There will be a charge for water and snacks to support church missions and ministries. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Church news," 10 July 2018 Parking will be at St. Joseph and Congregational church parking lots. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "Bristol To Launch Farmers Market On Federal Hill," 10 July 2018 Barrett also co-wrote a 1998 law review article suggesting that Catholic judges would have to disqualify themselves from death penalty cases because of the church’s opposition to capital punishment. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Trump has ‘outsourced’ his Supreme Court picks to this conservative group," 8 July 2018 My father was active in church organizations and both of them were quite active in Red Cross. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Kingwood volunteer highlights importance of community service," 7 July 2018 Zaytoven, born Xavier Lamar Dotson, began his music career as a church organist. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Cathartic Symphony of Future’s Beast Mode 2," 6 July 2018 April marks the 25th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide, in which almost 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were indiscriminately set upon and murdered—in their homes, in schools, in churches and in the open air. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Legacy of an African Genocide," 1 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Church bells throughout Orlando will ring 49 times at noon Monday, a year after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. CBS News, "First of several services marks year since Pulse nightclub mass shooting," 12 June 2017 Church education minister Terry Slay told WXIA-TV that the bus was carrying 11th- and 12th-graders, along with adults. Washington Post, "Church bus crashes in Atlanta area; 1 killed, others injured," 8 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Twelve Johnson County churches convert classrooms to bedrooms one week at a time and can serve up to five unaccompanied female guests at a time, as well as families. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Correx JOCO homeless," 2 Apr. 2018 Quinn said people pulling away from he church pained him and other church leaders. Marcos Bretón, sacbee, "Awaiting death in season of renewal, Bishop Quinn reflects on life – and the secret to happiness | The Sacramento Bee," 1 Apr. 2018 The move was a safety precaution, WFMZ reported, although the church has told attendees — who church officials say are coming from around the world for the service — not to load the weapons. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "Pennsylvania church plans a ceremony with AR-15 rifles — and a local school is getting students out of the way," 28 Feb. 2018 The move was a safety precaution, WFMZ reported, although the church has told attendees -- who church officials say are coming from around the world for the service -- not to load the weapons. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Church ceremony with AR-15 rifles leads nearby school to relocate students," 27 Feb. 2018 After the Texas massacre, many East Tennessee churches called law enforcement seeking guidance. Amy Mcrary, The Seattle Times, "After shootings, concerned congregations learn to protect," 17 Dec. 2017 More: Churches look to tighten security, even arm congregants, after Texas shooting After the Texas massacre, many East Tennessee churches called law enforcement seeking guidance. Amy Mcrary, USA TODAY, "After church shootings, concerned congregations aim to protect their flocks," 10 Dec. 2017 Today, the combined attendance of all the Shrine churches is 50,000, said Nelson. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's iconic Black Madonna: 50 years as mother of a movement," 27 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'church.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of church

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for church

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Late Greek kyriakon, from Greek, neuter of kyriakos of the lord, from kyrios lord, master; akin to Sanskrit śūra hero, warrior

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Learn More about church

Dictionary Entries near church

chuprassi

Chur

Churapa

church

Church

church-ale

Church Assembly

Statistics for church

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for church

The first known use of church was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for church

church

noun

English Language Learners Definition of church

: a building that is used for Christian religious services
: religious services held in a church
: a particular Christian group

church

noun
\ ˈchərch How to pronounce church (audio) \

Kids Definition of church

1 : a building for public worship and especially Christian worship
2 often capitalized : an organized body of religious believers What church do you belong to?
3 : public worship I'm going to church.

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More from Merriam-Webster on church

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with church

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for church

Spanish Central: Translation of church

Nglish: Translation of church for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of church for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about church

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