Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Old French congregacion, from Latin congregātiō, itself from congregō (to herd into a flock). Adopted c. 1340, by the English Bible translator William Tyndale, to render the Ancient Greek ἐκκλησία (ekklēsía, those called together, (popular) meeting) (hence Latin ecclēsia) in his New Testament, and preferred by 16th century Reformers instead of church.



congregation (countable and uncountable, plural congregations)

  1. The act of congregating or collecting together.
  2. A gathering of faithful in a temple, church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship. It can also refer to the people who are present at a devotional service in the building, particularly in contrast to the pastor, minister, imam, rabbi etc. and/or choir, who may be seated apart from the general congregation or lead the service (notably in responsory form).
    • 2021 January 13, Bethan McKernan, “Turkey drought: Istanbul could run out of water in 45 days”, in The Guardian:
      The critically low level of rainfall in the second half of 2020 – approaching 50% year on year for November – led the religious affairs directorate to instruct imams and their congregations to pray for rain last month.
  3. A Roman Congregation, a main department of the Vatican administration of the Catholic Church.
  4. A corporate body whose members gather for worship, or the members of such a body.
  5. Any large gathering of people.
  6. A group of eagles.
  7. (UK, Oxford University) The main body of university staff, comprising academics, administrative staff, heads of colleges, etc.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.