religion

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

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

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Other Words from religion

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

Synonyms for religion

Synonyms

credo, creed, cult, faith, persuasion

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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

But this majestic cathedral has transcended that history, offering solace and an oasis of reflection to people of all backgrounds and religions, including me. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "Notre-Dame Cathedral Symbolizes the Power of Architecture to Transform Lives," 16 Apr. 2019 Therein lies the only elements which help this economic system work: religion, limited community and the free opportunity to leave. WSJ, "Irony Alert: Socialism Needs Religion to Work," 14 Apr. 2019 Divisions that pit 'us versus them' — in all things from race, to ethnicity, to religion, to politics — seem to be tearing at us now like never before. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "Think America isn't great already? This refugee will change your mind," 3 July 2018 In their universe everyone is beautiful, inside and out, and can hold nuanced takes on complex subjects like politics, religion, sexuality, and race. refinery29.com, "I Demand Justice For Shannan On Queer Eye, Season 2," 18 June 2018 Sister leaves a sister Teresa Dowd of Richmond, Va., many nieces and nephews, and her sisters in religion, the Sisters of Notre Dame. courant.com, "Adrienne Marie Mack SND," 26 June 2018 The message outlined the central tenets of Islam and affirmed that terrorism and violence have no place in the religion. Kristin E. Holmes, Philly.com, "Philly-based Templeton Foundation awards $1.45 million religion prize to Jordan's King Abdullah II," 26 June 2018 He was divorced, had a kid, grew up in a different religion and his politics were to the right of hers. Lisa Bonos, chicagotribune.com, "Don't think Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson will make it? Meet 4 couples who got engaged quickly," 23 June 2018 The survey offered a number of intriguing theories, besides economic well-being, for why young people so often lag in religion. Yonat Shimron, Houston Chronicle, "Younger adults are less religious, and not only in the U.S.," 16 June 2018

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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Statistics for religion

Last Updated

11 May 2019

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Time Traveler for religion

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

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More Definitions for religion

religion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of religion

: the belief in a god or in a group of gods
: an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
informal : an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on religion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with religion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for religion

Spanish Central: Translation of religion

Nglish: Translation of religion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of religion for Arabic Speakers

Comments on religion

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