church

1 of 3

noun

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 clergyJ. 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 agesJ. H. Newman
b
: denomination
the Presbyterian church
c
: congregation
they had appointed elders for them in every churchActs 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

2 of 3

adjective

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

church

3 of 3

verb

churched; churching; churches

transitive verb

: to bring to church to receive one of its rites

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Biden was at church in Rehoboth Beach, Del. during the shooting, and will return to the White House tonight. Nik Popli, TIME, 14 July 2024 Christians opposed to a nationalist ideology are among the leaders of the pushback, speaking in churches and at universities, countering spiritual warfare language with other biblical verses that emphasize compromise and peacemaking. Hannah Allam, Washington Post, 13 July 2024
Adjective
Jenny journeyed to a questionable mega-church compound that seemed extremely cult-like, only to discover Cody never made it there. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 2 Dec. 2020 Bateman lived in Colorado City among a patchwork of devout members of the polygamous FLDS, ex-church members and those who don't practice the beliefs. Felicia Fonseca, USA TODAY, 8 Dec. 2022 See all Example Sentences for church 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'church.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near church

Cite this Entry

“Church.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/church. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

church

noun
ˈchərch
1
: a building for public worship and especially Christian worship
2
often capitalized : an organized body of religious believers
3
: public worship
churchly
-lē
adjective

Biographical Definition

Church

biographical name

Frederic Edwin 1826–1900 American painter

More from Merriam-Webster on church

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