tran·​sub·​stan·​ti·​a·​tion | \ ˌtran(t)-səb-ˌstan(t)-shē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce transubstantiation (audio) \

Definition of transubstantiation

1 : the miraculous change by which according to Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox dogma the eucharistic elements at their consecration become the body and blood of Christ while keeping only the appearances of bread and wine
2 : an act or instance of transubstantiating or being transubstantiated

Examples of transubstantiation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Only about half the Catholics surveyed were even able to correctly state the doctrine on transubstantiation; the other half inaccurately said the church teaches that the bread and wine are symbolic. Jeremy C. Fox,, "Big Number: Eucharistic uncertainty," 9 Aug. 2019 The processions on Corpus Christi commemorate the biblical transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: German Catholics attend Corpus Christi parades," 20 June 2019 Belief in transubstantiation has both scriptural and patristic bases. John Hirschauer, National Review, "What Is Pope Francis Saying about Communion?," 10 June 2019 The doctrine of transubstantiation states that the bread and wine offered at Communion are literally transformed into the body and blood of Christ, and opponents of the early church zeroed in on that belief. Pallavi Kottamasu,, "Were cannibals really so bad?," 2 June 2018 Lori’s visit coincided with the church’s observance of the Feast of Corpus Christi, a celebration of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation in communion. Sarah Meehan, Howard County Times, "Archbishop Lori, Ellicott City parishioners pray for Hermond, other flooding victims at Mass," 2 June 2018 Holy vestments serve in the transubstantiation of wine and bread into blood and body, and in a similar way these secular garments also turn the Met’s medieval collection back into objects of worship. Jason Farago, New York Times, "‘Heavenly Bodies’ Brings the Fabric of Faith to the Met," 9 May 2018 Dissident movements had already challenged the papacy and the priesthood, transubstantiation, indulgences, relics, and icons. Marilynne Robinson, New Republic, "The Luther Legend," 12 Dec. 2017 There was no transubstantiation, no epiphany Chantal Braganza, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Dunking," 12 Oct. 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of transubstantiation was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Transubstantiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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English Language Learners Definition of transubstantiation

: the belief in some Christian religions that the bread and wine given at Communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ when they are blessed

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