religion

noun
re·​li·​gion | \ ri-ˈli-jən How to pronounce religion (audio) \

Essential Meaning of religion

1 : the belief in a god or in a group of gods Many people turn to religion for comfort in a time of crisis.
2 : an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods There are many religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Shinto is a religion that is unique to Japan. See More ExamplesI think that children should be taught about different religions. [=faiths] It is against my religion [=my beliefs do not allow me] to drink alcohol. They advocated for freedom of religion. [=the right to choose what religion to follow and to worship without interference] She no longer participates in organized religion. [=a belief system that has large numbers of followers and a set of rules that must be followed]Hide
3 informal : an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group Hockey is a religion in Canada. Politics are a religion to him. See More ExamplesWhere I live, high school football is religion. Food is religion in this house.Hide

Full Definition of religion

1a : the state of a religious a nun in her 20th year of religion
b(1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural
(2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

Other Words from religion

religionless \ ri-​ˈli-​jən-​ləs How to pronounce religion (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for religion

Synonyms

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Examples of religion in a Sentence

Many people turn to religion for comfort in a time of crisis. There are many religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. Shinto is a religion that is unique to Japan. Hockey is a religion in Canada. Politics are a religion to him. Where I live, high school football is religion. Food is religion in this house.
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Recent Examples on the Web Koine Greek in the hands of a Greek-speaking Jew and Roman citizen out of Syria named Paul, would prove vital to the spread of a new religion, Christianity. A.e. Stallings, WSJ, 7 Jan. 2022 In the end, death apps are less a wake-up call than another false comfort, one that reflexively defers to the favored religion of our age—information. Meghan O'gieblyn, Wired, 6 Jan. 2022 My significant other is a super-nice guy, who everyone likes and gets along with -- until the topics of religion, spirituality and afterlife come up. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 2 Jan. 2022 Some people veered into rants about religion, critical race theory and mask mandates. Danielle Echeverria, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Dec. 2021 Food choices are personal, deeply connected to culture, religion, emotion, economic concerns, and so much more. Alejandra Borunda, Environment, 27 Dec. 2021 Food, clothing, language, religion, and most importantly, the aromas that filled the hallways and stairwells, the different scents of African traditions would inspire a young Mohammed early on. Cassell Ferere, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 In Asghar Farhadi’s films, the institutional boxes his characters live in, seemingly solid structures of any society — justice system, civil law, family, religion — crumble in the face of the complexity of human situation. Meta Mazaj, Variety, 22 Dec. 2021 And the migration crisis is complicated, involving issues of borders, policing, state resources, employment, education, national sovereignty, and international coöperation, as well as those of race, ethnicity, religion, culture, and history. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, 21 Dec. 2021

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for religion

Middle English religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back — more at rely

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Time Traveler for religion

Time Traveler

The first known use of religion was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near religion

religio loci

religion

religionary

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Statistics for religion

Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Religion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for religion

religion

noun
re·​li·​gion | \ ri-ˈli-jən How to pronounce religion (audio) \

Kids Definition of religion

1 : the belief in and worship of God or gods
2 : a system of religious beliefs and practices

More from Merriam-Webster on religion

Nglish: Translation of religion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of religion for Arabic Speakers

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