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

Noah goes back to the church and finds Agnes there. Abbey Maxbauer, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Netflix's Dark Season 2 Recap," 25 June 2019 Kirk Franklin brought the crowd to church at the 2019 BET Awards on Sunday night (June 23) with a rafter-raising gospel performance in the final act of the ceremony. Hilary Hughes, Billboard, "Kirk Franklin Preaches the Gospel of 'Love Theory' With 2019 BET Awards Performance: Watch," 23 June 2019 Southerners are more relaxed about religion: Banyan’s driver in Chennai patronised various Hindu temples but went to church too. The Economist, "Why India’s south confounds the otherwise all-conquering Narendra Modi," 21 June 2019 Leung and Wu said opposition legislators and church leaders would patrol the protest site outside government headquarters Thursday night into Friday morning to attempt to defuse any confrontation with officers. David Pierson, latimes.com, "Hong Kong’s leader ignores call to retract extradition bill. More protests may come," 20 June 2019 Business associations, housewives, lawyers, church leaders, trade unions and even horse racing columnists have all vocally opposed the bill. Laignee Barron / Hong Kong, Time, "Why Hong Kong Protesters Aren't Calling It Quits After the Suspension of a Controversial Extradition Bill," 19 June 2019 When church leaders refused, they were told on Sept. 5. David K. Li, NBC News, "Church claims polling station removed because of Black Lives Matter banners," 11 June 2019 That didn’t bother church leaders contacted for this story. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive.com, "Churches take lead in helping poor with medical debt," 9 June 2019 The study group also is considering new requirements for background checks of church leaders. David Crary, Houston Chronicle, "Sex abuse crisis tops agenda as Southern Baptists convene," 8 June 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

The 12 Hamilton County churches that received money from the foundation were: Word of Deliverance Ministries, Forest Park - $35,000. Sharon Coolidge And Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "Foundation led by Councilman Jeff Pastor gave Cincinnati churches $310K in election year," 26 June 2019 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

2 Jul 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

Comments on church

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