excommunication

noun
ex·​com·​mu·​ni·​ca·​tion | \ ˌek-skə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce excommunication (audio) \

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 How to pronounce excommunicative (audio) , -​ni-​kə-​tiv \ adjective

Examples of excommunication in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In 883, under the new, brief papacy of Marinus I, Formosus’s excommunication was lifted, and he was reinstated as the head of his former diocese in Porto. National Geographic, "In 897, the corpse of a pope was exhumed—to be put on trial.," 20 Aug. 2019 Parties to modern excommunication never seem to make considered decisions on the merits for themselves and in consideration of the depth of the relationship, but race blindly to join the stampede. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Cruel and Unusual Punishment," 10 Feb. 2019 It must be reported to the Vatican and can carry the penalty of excommunication. Nicole Winfield, Houston Chronicle, "Allegations against top priest under review after AP report," 7 June 2019 While not a lifelong ban, excommunication is a rare move that amounts to the harshest punishment available for a church member. Brady Mccombs, Fox News, "Mormon fighting to end youth interviews ousted from faith," 16 Sep. 2018 While not a lifelong ban, excommunication is a rare move that amounts to the harshest punishment available for a church member. Brady Mccombs, Fox News, "Mormon fighting to end youth interviews ousted from faith," 16 Sep. 2018 Breaking it for any reason is a grave sin punishable by excommunication. Rob Taylor And, WSJ, "New Laws Require Priests to Break the ‘Seal of Confession’," 3 Aug. 2018 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

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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Statistics for excommunication

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for excommunication

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

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to make a temporary encampment

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