ec·​u·​men·​i·​cal | \ ˌe-kyə-ˈme-ni-kəl How to pronounce ecumenical (audio) , -kyü- \

Definition of ecumenical

1a : of, relating to, or representing the whole of a body of churches
b : promoting or tending toward worldwide Christian unity or cooperation
2 : worldwide or general in extent, influence, or application

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Other Words from ecumenical

ecumenically \ ˌe-​kyə-​ˈme-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ecumenical (audio) , -​kyü-​ \ adverb

Examples of ecumenical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Then, at the Capitol, a Jesuit priest and former president of Georgetown University, Father Leo O’Donovan, used an otherwise ecumenical prayer to remind the audience that a Catholic had asked for God’s blessing for George Washington’s inauguration. Matthew Sitman, The New Republic, "Whither the Religious Left?," 15 Apr. 2021 The most unwaveringly devout great composer of the doubting 20th century was also, counterintuitively, one of the most ecumenical. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, "Most heavenly holiday music: Messiaen and Christmas in 20 virtuosic piano visions," 23 Dec. 2020 The ecumenical display, however, prompted griping from his staff: there is little sense of unity in Jaffna these days, even among the Tamil majority, let alone between religions and ethnicities. The Economist, "Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority has become more politically fractured," 28 Nov. 2020 The Abstract Expressionist artist was commissioned in 1964 by the collectors John and Dominique de Menil to design an ecumenical sanctuary. Hilarie Sheets, ELLE Decor, "The New-and-Improved Rothko Chapel Shines a Fresh Light on the Art," 30 Oct. 2020 Like many ecumenical leaders, Glenn, a former police officer, didn’t heed the advice of Virginia governor Ralph Northam and others who warned against gatherings of more than 10 people. Phillip Morris, National Geographic, "2020 has tested our humanity. Where do we go from here?," 13 Oct. 2020 Along with several hundred other ecumenical groups, People of Praise celebrated the 50th anniversary of ecumenism's revival in the Catholic Church in Rome. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Four myths about the People of Praise, explained," 30 Sep. 2020 The argument isn’t between the Republicans and the Democrats but about more specific figures: Joe Biden, pointedly ecumenical and in command of the race, and Donald Trump, home from the hospital and flailing. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "A Straightforward Vice-Presidential Debate About a Catastrophic Presidency," 8 Oct. 2020 The Trinity Schools, serving middle- and high-schoolers, are ecumenical, private Christian institutions. Mary Hallan Fiorito, WSJ, "People of Praise Deserves Ours," 1 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ecumenical.' 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 ecumenical

circa 1587, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for ecumenical

Late Latin oecumenicus, from Late Greek oikoumenikos, from Greek oikoumenē the inhabited world, from feminine of oikoumenos, present passive participle of oikein to inhabit, from oikos house — more at vicinity

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Time Traveler for ecumenical

Time Traveler

The first known use of ecumenical was circa 1587

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Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ecumenical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ecumenical



English Language Learners Definition of ecumenical

: involving people from different kinds of Christian churches

More from Merriam-Webster on ecumenical

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