A small village church in autumn.
- An example of church is the Christian church.
- An example of church is where a religious service regularly takes place.
- a building set apart or consecrated for public worship, esp. one for Christian worship
- religious service or public worship, esp. among Christians
- all Christians considered as a single body
- a particular sect or denomination of Christians
- the ecclesiastical government of a particular religious group, or its power, as opposed to secular government
- the profession of the clergy; clerical profession
- a group of worshipers; congregation
Origin of churchMiddle English chirche, kirke from Old English cirice (& Old Norse kirkja from OE) from Germanic an unverified form kirika from Ecclesiastical Late Greek an unverified form kyrik? from Classical Greek kyriak? (oikia), Lord's (house) from kyriakos, belonging to the Lord from kyrios, ruler from kyros, supreme power from Indo-European base an unverified form ?eu-, a swelling, to be strong, hero from source cave
- having to do with organized Christian worship
- of or connected with a church
- A building for public, especially Christian worship.
- often Church a. The company of all Christians regarded as a spiritual body.b. A specified Christian denomination: the Presbyterian Church.c. A congregation.
- Public divine worship in a church; a religious service: goes to church at Christmas and Easter.
- The clerical profession; clergy.
- Ecclesiastical power as distinguished from the secular: the separation of church and state.
transitive verbchurched, church·ing, church·es
Origin of churchMiddle English chirche from Old English cirice ultimately from Medieval Greek kūrikon from Late Greek kūriakon (dōma) the Lord's (house) neuter of Greek kūriakos of the lord from kūrios lord ; see keuə- in Indo-European roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural churches)
- (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.
- Christians collectively seen as a single spiritual community; Christianity. [from 9th c.]
- These worshippers make up the Church of Christ.
- (countable) A local group of people who follow the same Christian religious beliefs, local or general. [from 9th c.]
- (countable) A particular denomination of Christianity. [from 9th c.]
- The Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534.
- (uncountable, countable, as bare noun) Christian worship held at a church; service. [from 10th c.]
- A (non-Christian) religion; a religious group. [from 16th c.]
- She goes to a Wiccan church down the road.
(third-person singular simple present churches, present participle churching, simple past and past participle churched)
From Middle English chirche, from Old English ċiriċe (“church”), from Proto-Germanic *kirikǭ, an early borrowing of Ancient Greek κυριακόν (kuriakon), neuter form of κυριακός (kuriakos, “belonging to the lord”), from κύριος (kurios, “ruler, lord”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱēw-, *ḱwā- (“to swell, spread out, be strong, prevail”).
|For vowel evolution, see bury. Greek κυριακόν (kuriakon) was used of houses of Christian worship since circa 300 AD, especially in the East, though it was less common in this sense than ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia, “congregation”) or βασιλική (basilikē, “royal thing”). An example of the direct Greek-to-Germanic progress of many Christian words, via the Goths; it was probably used by West Germanic people in their pre-Christian period. Cognate with Scots kirk (“church”), West Frisian tsjerke (“church”), Saterland Frisian Säärke (“church”), Dutch kerk (“church”), German Kirche (“church”), Danish kirke (“church”), Swedish kyrka (“church”), Norwegian kirke, kyrkje (“church”), and Icelandic kirkja (“church”). Also picked up by Slavic, via Old High German chirihha (compare Old Church Slavonic црькꙑ (crĭky), Bulgarian църква (cǎrkva), Russian церковь (cerkovʹ)). Romance and Celtic languages use variants of Latin ecclesia.|
- A surname.
- (used with "the") A specific church (Christian religious denomination), such as the Church of England or the Catholic Church.