noun con·gre·ga·tion \ ˌkäŋ-gri-ˈgā-shən \
|Updated on: 17 Jul 2018

Definition of congregation

1 a : an assembly of persons : gathering; especially : an assembly of persons met for worship and religious instruction
b : a religious community: such as
(1) : an organized body of believers in a particular locality
  • The pastor delivered a lengthy sermon to the congregation.
(2) : a Roman Catholic religious institute with only simple vows
  • a congregation of nuns
(3) : a group of monasteries forming an independent subdivision of an order
2 : the act or an instance of congregating or bringing together : the state of being congregated
3 : a body of cardinals and officials forming an administrative division of the papal curia

Examples of congregation in a Sentence

  1. The priest addressed the congregation.

  2. She is a member of a small congregation.

Recent Examples of congregation from the Web

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

Did You Know?

The verb congregate may be used for spontaneous gatherings. A crowd quickly congregates at the scene of an accident, for example, just as cows, sheep, or horses tend to congregate during a storm. And under military rule, citizens are often forbidden to congregate on street corners or anywhere else. But a congregation is generally a group that has gathered for a formal purpose, usually in church. The Congregational Church was originally the church of the Puritan settlers, in which each congregation governed its own church independent of any higher authority.

Origin and Etymology of congregation

Other Christian Religious Terms

CONGREGATION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of congregation for English Language Learners

  • : the people who are attending a religious service

  • : the people who regularly attend religious services

CONGREGATION Defined for Kids


noun con·gre·ga·tion \ ˌkäŋ-gri-ˈgā-shən \

Definition of congregation for Students

1 : an assembly of persons gathered for religious worship
2 : a gathering or collection of people or things
3 : the membership of a church or synagogue

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one who attends or assists a leader

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