1

church

play
noun \ ˈchərch \

Definition of church

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

Examples of church in a Sentence

  1. This is the oldest church in town.

  2. They would like to be married in a church.

  3. I didn't see you at church last Sunday.

  4. He is a member of the Catholic Church.

  5. What church do you belong to?

  6. the church's attitude toward divorce

  7. the separation of church and state

Recent Examples of church from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of church

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

church Synonyms

Synonyms
kirk [chiefly Scottish], tabernacle, temple
Antonyms
laity
Related Words
abbey, bethel, cathedral, chapel, minster, mission, oratory, sanctuary, shrine; meetinghouse; mosque, pagoda, shul, synagogue (also synagog)

Other Architecture Terms


2

church

adjective

Definition of church

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

Recent Examples of church from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of church


3

church

verb

Definition of church

transitive verb
:to bring to church to receive one of its rites

Recent Examples of church from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of church


Church

play
biographical name \ ˈchərch \

Definition of Church

Frederic Edwin 1826–1900 American painter


CHURCH Defined for English Language Learners

church

play
noun

Definition of church for English Language Learners

  • : a building that is used for Christian religious services

  • : religious services held in a church

  • : a particular Christian group


CHURCH Defined for Kids

church

play
noun \ ˈchərch \

Definition of church for Students

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.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up church? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!