gos·​pel | \ ˈgä-spəl How to pronounce gospel (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from gospel


gospelly \ ˈgä-​spə-​lē How to pronounce gospel (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gospel in a Sentence

Noun 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 When a crowd dynamic takes over, R. & B. and gospel styles come into play, with a combo of guitar, bass, piano, and drums piercing the ensemble. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2021 But his music was earthy, direct and sometimes idiosyncratic, drawn from the traditions of gospel music, blues and a down-home style of organ playing once commonplace in nightclubs in Black urban neighborhoods of the Northeast. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Oct. 2021 But its overzealous gospel chorus removes that possibility. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2021 Staples, 81, fronted The Staple Singers, the famed gospel-turned-R&B family group, and has gone on to a significant solo career. Paul Grein, Billboard, 17 June 2021 But as the Biden administration establishes itself in Washington, that longstanding gospel is no longer the prevailing view. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 16 Apr. 2021 Others set to perform include Rapsody, YG, Wayne Brady, Jay Rock, SiR, D Smoke, Kierra Sheard and Karen Clark Sheard, who is nominated for the Dr. Bobby Jones best gospel/inspirational award as a member of the Clark Sisters. Washington Post, 28 June 2020 Recording a gospel album marks a lengthy, full-circle moment for Jordan. Pam Windsor, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 The film follows Franklin's life from age 10 to adulthood, closing with the recording of her 1972 gospel album Amazing Grace. Asia Ewart, refinery29.com, 17 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Smyth had gradually come to accept their theories too as gospel truth, and had incorporated them into his thesis. Jimmy Maher, Ars Technica, 15 Mar. 2020 Meanwhile in South Carolina, Booker's campaign has launched a new radio advertisement on eight urban contemporary and gospel radio stations across the state. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, 6 Dec. 2019 Large chunks of the film are made up of Cambridge Analytica sales decks, which the directors appear to take as gospel truth about how sophisticated and successful the company was. L.m., The Economist, 24 July 2019 Market prices, of course, are no more gospel truth than are the extrapolations of economists. James Mackintosh, WSJ, 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, 5 July 2017 Gospel singer Bebe Winans sings beautiful hymns; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker joins her on stage. Capricia Marshall, Harper's BAZAAR, 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.

See More

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

Noun and Adjective

Middle English, from Old English gōdspel (translation of Late Latin evangelium), from gōd good + spell tale — more at spell entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About gospel

Time Traveler for gospel

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near gospel

go spare



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for gospel

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gospel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gospel. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gospel



English Language Learners Definition of gospel

: the teachings of the Christian religion
: 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 How to pronounce gospel (audio) \

Kids Definition of gospel

1 often capitalized : the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles
2 : something told or accepted as being absolutely true

More from Merriam-Webster on gospel

Nglish: Translation of gospel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gospel for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gospel


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!