re·​li·​gion ri-ˈli-jən How to pronounce religion (audio)
: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
: the service and worship of God or the supernatural
: commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
: the state of a religious
a nun in her 20th year of religion
: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
religionless adjective

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The Biden Administration’s surrender shows again that the religion of climate change is progressive penance for the sin of being prosperous. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 20 Nov. 2022 Despite his lifelong tangles with pseudo-religious groups and their prophets, Mr. Morantz never wavered from his belief that religion could be a force for good. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2022 Our religion is very private, and only certain people can attend the ceremony. Annie O’sullivan, Good Housekeeping, 29 Oct. 2022 For one, Hollywood often portrays the practice of Wicca as the core of witchcraft, when in reality, the pagan religion is just one of the many offshoots of witchcraft. Alexis Oatman, Essence, 17 Oct. 2022 According to the Jehovah's Witnesses website, the religion is a form of Christianity that follows both the Old and New Testament of the Bible. Lindsay Kimble, Peoplemag, 8 Oct. 2022 However, such questions entirely miss the point that religion in this country has been a singularly divisive factor for well over a decade and is only becoming more so. Brynn Tannehill, The New Republic, 6 Oct. 2022 The Christian religion is also pretty big on repentance and forgiveness, too. John Mccormack, National Review, 5 Oct. 2022 According to Pew Research from 2014, nine out of 10 Alabama grownups believe in God with some certainty, nearly eight out of 10 say religion is important in their lives, and almost nine out of 10 identify as Christians. John Archibald |, al, 4 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

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

Dictionary Entries Near religion

Cite this Entry

“Religion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



re·​li·​gion ri-ˈlij-ən How to pronounce religion (audio)
: the service and worship of God or the supernatural
: belief in or devotion to religious faith or observance
: the state of a person in the religious life
a nun in her 20th year of religion
: a set or system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and ways of doing things
: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held with faith and strong feeling

More from Merriam-Webster on religion

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