religious

1 of 2

adjective

re·​li·​gious ri-ˈli-jəs How to pronounce religious (audio)
1
: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity
a religious person
religious attitudes
2
: of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances
joined a religious order
3
a
: scrupulously and conscientiously faithful
religiously adverb
religiousness noun

religious

2 of 2

noun

plural religious
: a member of a religious order under monastic vows

Examples of religious in a Sentence

Adjective My religious beliefs forbid the drinking of alcohol. Religious leaders called for an end to the violence. His wife is very active in the church, but he's not religious himself.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
There, a deeply religious woman has married her beloved, but her mind and heart soon grow heavy as her life becomes a long list of chores and expectations. Brent Lang, Variety, 12 Feb. 2024 The rise of Imran Khan Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 220 million has, since its inception in 1947, struggled with political and social instability following a traumatic partition that hastily divided British India along religious lines into two independent countries. Sophia Saifi, CNN, 12 Feb. 2024 The Daily Mail revealed on Saturday that agents acting for Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps have recently attempted to recruit British citizens of Muslim descent to spy on Jewish targets and Iranian activists identified by Iran's religious authorities. Forbes International, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Cline was elected in 2020 to represent parts of Salt Lake City and a northern portion of Utah County after campaigning on religious liberty and culture war issues such as anti-LGBTQ+ policies. Kim Bellware, Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2024 Spinoza’s parents and grandparents were among the many Portuguese Jews who moved to the Netherlands in the early seventeenth century, drawn by the promise of religious tolerance as well as commercial opportunities. Adam Kirsch, The New Yorker, 5 Feb. 2024 This, in addition to her religious practices, consumes most of her time, energy and emotional resources. Jeanne Phillips, The Mercury News, 4 Feb. 2024 The Houthis’ support for a Zaydi revival led them to clash with Yemen’s government, which was trying to balance power between a range of tribal and religious constituencies. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2024 On display – in two permanent galleries – are Indian religious sculpture, a Thai head of Buddha, Japanese tea bowls, Chinese earthenware pots from 500 B.C. and Japanese scrolls. Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024
Noun
As a young religious, Bishop-elect Lombardo did missionary work in Bolivia and Honduras. Laura Rodríguez Presa, chicagotribune.com, 11 Sep. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'religious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French religius, from Latin religiosus, from religio

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French religius, from religius, adjective

First Known Use

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near religious

Cite this Entry

“Religious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religious. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

religious

1 of 2 adjective
re·​li·​gious ri-ˈlij-əs How to pronounce religious (audio)
1
: devoted to God or to the powers or forces believed to govern life
a very religious person
2
: of or relating to religion
religious beliefs
3
: very devoted and faithful
performed his duties with religious regularity
religiously adverb
religiousness noun

religious

2 of 2 noun
plural religious
: a member of a religious order

More from Merriam-Webster on religious

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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