gos·​pel | \ˈgä-spəl \

Definition of gospel 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a often capitalized : the message concerning Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation

b capitalized : one of the first four New Testament books telling of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ also : a similar apocryphal (see apocrypha sense 2) book

c : an interpretation of the Christian message the social gospel

2 capitalized : a lection (see lection sense 1) from one of the New Testament Gospels

3 : the message or teachings of a religious teacher

4 : something accepted or promoted as infallible (see infallible sense 1) truth or as a guiding principle or doctrine took her words as gospel spreading the gospel of conservation— R. M. Hodesh

5 : gospel music



Definition of gospel (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : having a basis in or being in accordance with the gospel (see gospel entry 1 sense 1) : evangelical ordained to the gospel ministryChristian Century

b : marked by special or fervid emphasis on the gospel a gospel meeting

2 : of, relating to, or being religious songs of American origin associated with evangelism and popular devotion and marked by simple melody and harmony and elements of folk songs and blues

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Other Words from gospel


gospelly \ˈgä-​spə-​lē \ adjective

Examples of gospel in a Sentence


a reading from the Gospel of St. John her private gospel is to do good cheerfully and without any expectation of reward

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The reason for that seems clear: Amazing Grace is not just a concert movie, but a gospel music concert movie, and one filmed in a church. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "It took 46 years for Aretha Franklin’s concert doc to come out. The wait was worth it.," 15 Nov. 2018 There’s a conversation to be had about this in the era of deepfakes when cheap and easy image manipulation means that seeing is believing is no longer gospel. Bijan Stephen, The Verge, "The White House used a doctored video to tell a lie," 8 Nov. 2018 Zach Williams took home two awards, including artist of the year, and Tasha Cobb Leonard won gospel artist of the year and urban worship album. Kristin M. Hall, The Seattle Times, "Tauren Wells wins 4, including new artist, at Dove Awards," 16 Oct. 2018 Security practitioners have been preaching this gospel for years. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Password breach teaches Reddit that, yes, phone-based 2FA is that bad," 1 Aug. 2018 On May 19, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had their beautiful royal wedding at that very venue — complete with a sea of flowers, a performance by a gospel choir, and a powerful sermon that touched on the civil-rights movement. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Queen Elizabeth Will Meet With Trump at the Royal Wedding Venue," 27 June 2018 Growing up in Polk County, the gospel choir boy was content to belt it out in the churches of Winter Haven and Lake Wales. Trevor Fraser, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Chris Blue brings his winning voice to Orlando," 29 May 2018 The African ululating, the gospel choir, the black cellist, Mama Markle’s quiet grace, and the black preacher who took the House of Windsor all the way to Jesus and John By The Riverside Church of God in Christ were all amazing. Kirsten West Savali, The Root, "Al Sharpton Claims ‘White Male Supremacy’ Is ‘On Its Last Breath’ Because Harry Married Meghan, and I Need Him To Stop Talking," 20 May 2018 From there, Gambino's joined by dancing school kids and a gospel choir, who sing until Gambino mows them down with what appears to be a semi-automatic rifle. Hilary Hughes, The Hollywood Reporter, "Childish Gambino Debuts Stunning New Music Video, "This is America"," 6 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Market prices, of course, are no more gospel truth than are the extrapolations of economists. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Pick Your Portfolio’s Story: Late-Cycle Sugar Rush or New Boom?," 30 July 2018 Gospel stage production about family's struggle with alcoholism and their journey back to God through faith, hope and love. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "Things to do this week: July 5-9," 5 July 2017 Gospel singer Bebe Winans sings beautiful hymns; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker joins her on stage. Capricia Marshall, Harper's BAZAAR, "Behind the Scenes of Hillary's Last Days on the Campaign Trail," 15 Dec. 2016

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gospel


Middle English, from Old English gōdspel (translation of Late Latin evangelium), from gōd good + spell tale — more at spell


see gospel entry 1

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Statistics for gospel

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gospel

The first known use of gospel was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for gospel



English Language Learners Definition of gospel

: the teachings of the Christian religion

Gospel : any one of the first four books of the Christian Bible that tell of the life of Jesus Christ

: an idea or set of ideas that someone believes and often tries to make other people believe


gos·​pel | \ˈgä-spəl \

Kids Definition of gospel

1 often capitalized : the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles

2 : something told or accepted as being absolutely true

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Comments on gospel

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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