wor·​ship | \ ˈwər-shəp How to pronounce worship (audio) also ˈwȯr- \
worshipped also worshiped; worshipping also worshiping

Definition of worship

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to honor or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power
2 : to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion a celebrity worshipped by her fans

intransitive verb

: to perform or take part in worship or an act of worship



Definition of worship (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power also : an act of expressing such reverence
2 : a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual
3 : extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem worship of the dollar
4 chiefly British : a person of importance used as a title for various officials (such as magistrates and some mayors)

Other Words from worship


worshipper or less commonly worshiper noun

Choose the Right Synonym for worship


revere, reverence, venerate, worship, adore mean to honor and admire profoundly and respectfully. revere stresses deference and tenderness of feeling. a professor revered by her students reverence presupposes an intrinsic merit and inviolability in the one honored and a similar depth of feeling in the one honoring. reverenced the academy's code of honor venerate implies a holding as holy or sacrosanct because of character, association, or age. heroes still venerated worship implies homage usually expressed in words or ceremony. worships their memory adore implies love and stresses the notion of an individual and personal attachment. we adored our doctor

Examples of worship in a Sentence

Verb Many ancient cultures worshipped the sun and moon. They worship at this temple. I worship God in my own way. Noun worship of gods and goddesses Worship services are held daily. the media's worship of celebrities
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb God forbid you anger those who worship the brand like a religion, and feel that those who somehow mess with the integrity of such canon fodder be subject to a campaign of online harassment, name-calling and worse. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 12 Jan. 2022 Nearly identical viewpoints have been pushed by the far-right supporters of QAnon, which claims the United States is run by a group of pedophiles who worship Satan. John Caniglia, cleveland, 30 Dec. 2021 Today, there are about 28,000 members in San Antonio who worship in 25 meetinghouses. Elaine Ayala Commentary, San Antonio Express-News, 10 Dec. 2021 In a series of rulings earlier this year, the court shot down government restrictions on indoor gatherings that limited the number of people who could worship inside churches and synagogues. John Fritze, USA TODAY, 29 Oct. 2021 Although they are spread across nine counties, Cristo Rey has been the heart of that community, even for those who no longer regularly worship there, a point not lost on the bishop. New York Times, 25 Oct. 2021 Yosemite has captivated generations of climbers — and those who worship them. Amy Hubbard Multiplatform Editor, Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2021 Auditions will be held over the next few weeks, open to young men who worship, go to school or live in north Hartford. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, 27 Aug. 2021 Indeed, for those who worship, church can be a wonderful way to find new friends and community. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 1 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The requirement also does not apply to houses of worship. Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2022 Churches and places of worship are exempt from the mandate, while businesses should provide masks to customers and have signage about indoor mask requirements. Travis Caldwell, CNN, 11 Jan. 2022 Over the past 10 years schools were the fifth most common place for hate crimes in the city of San Diego, behind highways, alleys and streets, homes, and houses of worship, Levin said. San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Jan. 2022 In March 2020, when most in-person events stopped abruptly because of the pandemic, places of worship were forced to adjust, moving to livestreamed or online services. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 Jan. 2022 Lacking faith is a fair description of the U.S. these days, when, for the first time in Gallup’s polling history, less than half the country belongs to a house of worship. Kathryn Joyce, The New Republic, 6 Jan. 2022 The trail snakes its way alongside lush rice paddies, rubber and cinnamon estates, small-holder plantations and home gardens, places of worship, rural homes. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 The weekend events also included a virtual interfaith prayer service on Sunday, which ties to Dickens’ background as a deacon at New Horizon Baptist Church — his childhood house of worship. Wilborn Nobles, ajc, 3 Jan. 2022 The face-covering mandate went into effect Dec. 29 and applies to all individuals 5 and older patronizing restaurants and food businesses, retail stores, houses of worship, or any establishment that serves the public. Taylor Deville, baltimoresun.com, 3 Jan. 2022

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


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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for worship


Middle English worþschipen, worschepen, worshippen "to hold in honor, esteem, show respect for, revere (a deity), conduct religious rites," derivative of wurðscip, worschip "honor, esteem, religious faith, rank, value" — more at worship entry 2


Middle English wurðscip, worschip "honor, esteem, renown, veneration, religious faith, a person's social standing, rank, value," going back to Old English weorþscipe, wurþscipe "honor, esteem, veneration, dignity," from weorþ, wyrþ, as noun "value" and as adjective "valuable, having status, deserving" + -scipe -ship — more at worth entry 1, worth entry 3

Learn More About worship

Time Traveler for worship

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near worship




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for worship

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Worship.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worship. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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

More Definitions for worship



English Language Learners Definition of worship

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to honor or respect (someone or something) as a god
: to show respect and love for God or for a god especially by praying, having religious services, etc.
: to love or honor (someone or something) very much or too much



English Language Learners Definition of worship (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god : the act of worshipping God or a god
: excessive admiration for someone
used as a title when addressing or referring to certain officials (such as mayors and magistrates) used with his, her, your, or their


wor·​ship | \ ˈwər-shəp How to pronounce worship (audio) \

Kids Definition of worship

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : deep respect toward God, a god, or a sacred object
2 : too much respect or admiration


worshipped also worshiped; worshipping also worshiping

Kids Definition of worship (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to honor or respect as a divine being
2 : to regard with respect, honor, or devotion She worships her son.
3 : to take part in worship or an act of worship

Other Words from worship

worshipper or worshiper noun

More from Merriam-Webster on worship

Nglish: Translation of worship for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of worship for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about worship


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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