ex·​com·​mu·​ni·​ca·​tion | \ ˌek-skə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of excommunication 

1 : an ecclesiastical censure depriving a person of the rights of church membership
2 : exclusion from fellowship in a group or community

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Other Words from excommunication

excommunicative \ ˌek-​skə-​ˈmyü-​nə-​ˌkā-​tiv , -​ni-​kə-​tiv \ adjective

Examples of excommunication in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

While not a lifelong ban, excommunication is a rare move that amounts to the harshest punishment available for a church member. Brady Mccombs, The Seattle Times, "Mormon man opposing youth interviews says ouster likely," 10 Sep. 2018 The church holds the seal of confession to be inviolable, on pain of excommunication, and Holy See officials have urged the church in Australia to oppose legal changes targeting the confessional seal. Rob Taylor, WSJ, "Australian Bishops Reject Reporting Sexual Abuse Revealed in Confession," 31 Aug. 2018 In 2008, the Vatican issued a decree stating that anyone trying to ordain a woman as a priest and any woman who attempted to receive the ordination would incur automatic excommunication. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 29 May 2018 By the time the two women escaped and reunited weeks later with Ms. Jesmin’s husband in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, the excommunication had begun. New York Times, "When a Baby Is an Everyday Reminder of Rohingya Horror," 7 July 2018 That kind of excommunication seems impossible today, even surreal. Chris Richards, chicagotribune.com, "The 5 hardest questions in pop music," 3 July 2018 Activities such as the cutting of trees or livestock grazing have been either prohibited or strictly regulated in these places (and disobeying these prohibitions sometimes led to excommunication). John Healey, John Halley And Kalliopi Stara, Smithsonian, "Sacred Sites Can Also Be Hotspots of Conservation," 17 May 2018 Under the deal, Zhan, in turn, would have his excommunication lifted by Pope Francis. Nicole Winfield, BostonGlobe.com, "Key unofficial bishop in Vatican-China deal detained," 27 Mar. 2018 His racial worldview has cost him jobs and led to his excommunication from his Orthodox Christian church. Marwa Eltagouri, chicagotribune.com, "White nationalist leader Matthew Heimbach arrested for domestic battery," 14 Mar. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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The first known use of excommunication was in the 15th century

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