church

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English chirche, from Old English ċiriċe (church), from Proto-Germanic *kirikǭ, an early borrowing of Ancient Greek κυριακόν (kuriakón), neuter form of κυριακός (kuriakós, belonging to the lord), from κύριος (kúrios, ruler, lord), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱēw-, *ḱwā- (to swell, spread out, be strong, prevail).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

A church, with many architectural features traditional to such a structure.

church (countable and uncountable, plural churches)

  1. (countable) A Christian house of worship; a building where religious services take place. [from 9th c.]
    There is a lovely little church in the valley.
    This building used to be a church before being converted into a library.
    • 2007, John R. Dodd, Bucky and Friends, page 117:
      He got the message and was in church the next Sunday. We need to stay in church with the fellowship of others in order to keep the fire of faith burning brightly.
  2. Christians collectively seen as a single spiritual community; Christianity. [from 9th c.]
    These worshippers make up the Church of Christ.
    • Acts 20:28, New International Version:
      Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
  3. (countable) A local group of people who follow the same Christian religious beliefs, local or general. [from 9th c.]
    • 2007, Bill Gibson, The Ultimate Church Sound Operator's Handbook, page 78:
      Many young people find their only role models of family life in church.
    • 2007, John R. Dodd, Bucky and Friends, page 117:
      He got the message and was in church the next Sunday. We need to stay in church with the fellowship of others in order to keep the fire of faith burning brightly.
    • 2008, Yil Gyoung Kang, Enhancing understanding the church through preaching on ..., page 61:
      As they actively get involved in ministry, lay ministry becomes vigorous, and new believers will settle in church with more ease.
    • 2009, Christian Smith; Patricia Snell, Souls in Transition, page 194:
      she had very many adults in church with whom she could talk about issues in life.
  4. (countable) A particular denomination of Christianity. [from 9th c.]
    The Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534.
  5. (uncountable, countable, as bare noun) Christian worship held at a church; service. [from 10th c.]
    • 1997, Paul Harvey, Redeeming the South: Religious Cultures and Racial Identities ..., page 119:
      Pastors complained that they were not allowed enough authority in church, with women exercising too much informal control.
    • 2000, Lee Roberson, Disturbing Questions...: Solid Answers, page 174:
      Some people are always saying, "Oh, you have too much church." You never get too much church. I go to church every day.
    • 2003, George Shillington, On a Journey with God: You Come Too, page 53:
      the learned women will be qualified to lead in church with equal grace and equal insight and equal gifts.
  6. A (non-Christian) religion; a religious group. [from 16th c.]
    • 2007, Scott A. Merriman, Religion and the Law in America, page 313
      Among these, the church must investigate fundemental questions, []
    She goes to a Wiccan church down the road.

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Look at pages starting with church.

Translations[edit]

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Verb[edit]

church (third-person singular simple present churches, present participle churching, simple past and past participle churched)

  1. (transitive, now historical) To conduct a religious service for (a woman) after childbirth. [from 15th c.]
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book XI:
      Than, aftir the lady was delyverde and churched, there cam a knyght unto her [...].
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, page 36:
      Nor did it [the Church] accept that the woman should stay indoors until she had been churched.
  2. (transitive) To educate someone religiously, as in in a church.

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