- Religion is a set of beliefs about God or the supernatural.
An example of religion is Christianity.
Christianity is one religion.
- belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe
- expression of such a belief in conduct and ritual
- any specific system of belief and worship, often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy: the Christian religion, the Buddhist religion, etc.
- any system of beliefs, practices, ethical values, etc. resembling, suggestive of, or likened to such a system: humanism as a religion
- the state or way of life of a person in a monastery, convent, etc.
- any object of conscientious regard and pursuit
Origin of religionMiddle English religioun ; from Old French or L: Old French religion ; from Classical Latin religio, reverence for the gods, holiness, in Ecclesiastical Late Latin a system of religious belief ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps religare, to bind back ; from re-, back + ligare, to bind, bind together; or ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps re- + Indo-European base an unverified form leĝ-, to collect from source logic, Classical Greek legein, Classical Latin legere
get religion☆ Informal
- to become religious
- to become very conscientious or earnest about something
- a. The belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers, regarded as creating and governing the universe: respect for religion.b. A particular variety of such belief, especially when organized into a system of doctrine and practice: the world's many religions.c. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
- The life or condition of a person in a religious order: a widow who went into religion and became a nun.
- A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion: a person for whom art became a religion.
Origin of religionMiddle English religioun, from Old French religion, from Latin religiō, religiōn-, perhaps from religāre, to tie fast; see rely.
See also bible; buddhism; catholicism; christianity; church; eastern orthodoxy; faith; heresy; hinduism; islam; judaism; mary; miracles; protestantism; sacredness; saints; spirits and spiritualism; theology.abbacy 1. the property or jurisdiction of an abbot. 2. the time during which a person serves as an abbot. Adamitism the practice of going naked for God; the beliefs of some ascetic sects in ritual nakedness. See also nakedness —Adamite. n.— Adamitic, adj. anagoge, anagogy 1. Obsolete, a spiritual or mental elevation. 2. a mystical interpretation of a text (usually the Bible.) —anagogic, adj. —anagogically, adv. anagogics the study of hidden meanings, usually in Bible passages. angelology 1. Theology. the doctrine or theory concerning angels. 2. the beliefs concerning angels. angelophany the appearance to men, in visible form, of angels. antidisestablishmentarianism the principles of those who oppose the with-drawal of the recognition or support of the state from an established church, usually used in referring to the Anglican church in the 19th century in England. apocalypticism Theology. 1. any doctrine concerning the end of the temporal world, especially one based on the Revelations of St. John the Divine. 2. the millennial doctrine of the Second Advent and the reign of Jesus Christ on earth. —apocalyptic, apocalyptical, adj. apologia a formal apology, especially on behalf of some belief or doctrine. apostasy relinquishing of a religious belief. —apostate, n., adj. apostolicity being of or contemporary with the Apostles in character. babyolatry the worship of children. Baha’ism the doctrines and practices of a sect growing out of Babism and reflecting some attitudes of the Islamic Shi’a sect, but with an emphasis on tolerance and the essential worth of all religions. —Baha’i, n., adj. —Baha’ist, n., adj. bigotry obtuse or narrow-minded intolerance, especially of other races or religions. —bigot, n.—bigoted, adj. Bnism a pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet, involving worship of nature spirits and the practice of sacrifice, magie, and divination. It was influential on the Tibetan form of Buddhism. Caodaism, Caodism the doctrines of an Indochinese religion, especially an amalgamation of features from Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, and spiritualism. —Caodaist, n. churchism belief in a church or religious system. coeternity the state of eternal coexistence; eternal coexistence with another eternal entity. —coeternal, adj. convertism the practice of converting people to a religion. —convertist, n. cosmolatry the worship of the world. crypto-Calvinism a term used in 16th-century Germany for secret sympathies toward Calvinists, held by professed Lutherans. —crypto-Calvinist, n. devotionalism the quality or state of a person markedly characterized by religious devotion. —devotionalist, n. druidism the doctrines and practices of an order of Celtic priests in ancient Britain, Gaul, and Ireland. —Druid, n., adj. —Druidic, Druidical, adj. dualism Theology. 1. the doctrine of two independent divine beings or eternal principles, one good and the other evil. 2. the belief that man embodies two parts, as body or soul. —dualist, n. —dualistic, adj. ecthesis the use of a thesis to state a belief, as the Ecthesis of Heracïius, for-bidding discussion of the duality of Christ’s will. entheomania a mania for religion. Epiphany the appearance to man, in visible form, of a god or other supernatural being. establishmentarianism official recognition of a church as a national institution, especially the Church of England. Cf. antidisestablishmentarianism. exomologesis Obsolete, a complete, usually public, confession. exotericism religious doctrines or practices that are easily understood by the general public. —exoteric, n., adj. familism the beliefs of the familists, members of an antinomian sect of 16th-and 17th-century Europe. —familist, n. —familistic, adj. fanaticism the character, spirit, or conduct of a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal, as in religion or politics. —fanatic, n. flagellation whipping or flogging as a religious practice for the mortification of the flesh. —flagellant, n., adj, —flagellator, n. gentilism the state or quality of being non-Jewish, and especially a heathen or pagan. —gentile, n., adj. heathenism 1. a belief or practice of heathens. 2. pagan worship; idolatry. 3. irreligion. 4. barbaric morals or behavior. —heathen, n., adj. —heathenistic, adj. herolatry the worship of heroes. hieraticism the principles, attitudes, and practices of priests as a group, both Christian and non-Christian. —hieratic, adj. hieromania a mania for priests. hierurgy 1. the performance of holy works. 2. the holy work itself. High Churchism the principles that distinguish the Anglican church from the Calvinist and Protestant Nonconformist churches, especially deference to the authority and claims of the Episcopate and the priesthood and belief in the saving grace of the sacraments. —High Churchist, High Churchite, n. homiletics the art of sacred speaking; preaching. —homiletic, homiletical adj. Hsüan Chiao Taoism, def. 2. Hypsistarianism the religion of a fourth-century Asiatic sect whose beliefs were composed of Christian, Jewish, and pagan elements. idolism the belief in or worship of idols. —idolatry, idolist, n. —idolatrous, adj. indifferentism a view that admits no real difference between true and false in religion or philosophy; a form of agnosticism. —indifferentist, n. See also attitudes. inspirationism adherence to a theory or doctrine of divine influence, inspiration, or revelation, especially concerning the Scriptures. Izedism the beliefs of the Izedis, a Mesopotamian sect said to worship the devil. —Izedi, Yezdi, Yezidi, n. Jainism a dualistic, ascetic religion founded in the 6th century B.C. by a Hindu reformer as a revolt against the caste system and the vague world spirit of Hinduism. —Jain,n.,adj. —Jainist, n. Jansenism a Christian sect founded by Cornelius Jansen, 17th-century Dutch religious reformer. See also heresy. Jehovism the relation between Jehovah and his people and church. Josephinism the policies and measures concerning religion introduced by Emperor Joseph II of Austria (1741-90). Also Josephism. kerystics the study of homiletics. —kerystic, adj. latitudinarianism tolerance or broadmindedness, especially in matters of religion; the liberal interpretation of beliefs or doctrines. —latitudinarian, n., adj. legalism Theology. 1. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works. 2. the judging of conduct in terms of strict adherence to precise laws. —legalist, n.—legalistic, adj. liturgics the study of public church ritual. —liturgist, n. liturgiology the system of church rituals and their symbolism. —liturgiolo-gist, n. Low Churchism the principle that the Church of England is really little different from the Protestant Nonconformist churches in England and thus that the authority of the Episcopate and the priesthood, as well as the sacraments, are of comparatively minor importance. —Low Churchman, n. mactation the killing of something for the purpose of sacrifice. manaism 1. the doctrine of a generalized, supernatural force or power, which may be concentrated in objects or persons. 2. belief in mana. —manaistic, adj. martyrdom 1. the condition of being a martyr. 2. the death or type of suffering of a particular martyr. 3. any arduous suffering or torment. martyrologe Obsolete, a list, register or book of martyrs. Mazdaism the worship of Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism as the source of all light and good. —Mazdaist, n. Millerism the preachings of the American William Miller (1782-1849), founder of the Adventist church, who believed that the end of the world and the return of Christ would occur in 1843. —Millerite, n. myalism a West Indian Negro cult, probably of West African origin, that believes in the Obeah. mysticism 1. the doctrine that an immediate spiritual intuition of truth or an intimate spiritual union of the soul with God can be achieved through contemplation and spiritual exercises. 2. the beliefs, ideas, or practices of mystics. neopaganism the revival of paganism. —neopagan, adj. —neopaganist, n., adj. nullifidian a person who has no religion; a religious skeptic. nullifidianism 1. the state or position of being without religious faith or belief. 2. advocacy of such a state or position. —nullifidian, n., adj. occultism a belief that certain secret, mysterious, or supernatural agencies exist and that human beings may communicate with them or have their assistance. —occultist, n., adj. ontologism Philosophy. the doctrine that the human intellect has as its proper object the knowledge of God, that this knowledge is immediate and intu-itive, and that all other knowledge must be built on this base. —ontologist, n. —ontologistic, adj. Ophism the doctrines and beliefs of certain Gnostic sects that worshiped serpents as the symbol of the hidden divine wisdom and as having benefited Adam and Eve by encouraging them to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Also Ophitism. —Ophite, n. —Ophitic, adj. Orphism the religion of the Orphic mysteries, a cult of Dionysus (Bacchus) ascribed to Orpheus as its founder, especially its rites of initiation and doctrines of original sin, salvation, and purification through reincarnations. Also Orphicism. —Orphic, n., adj. orthodoxy the condition, quality, or practice of conforming, especially in religious belief. —orthodox, adj. paganism 1. a hedonistic spirit or attitude in moral or religious matters. 2. the beliefs and practices of pagans, especially polytheists. 3. the state of being a pagan. —paganist, n., adj.—paganistic, adj. pantheism 1. the belief that identifies God with the universe. 2. the belief that God is the only reality, transcending all, and that the universe and everything in it are mere manifestations of Him. —pantheist, n., adj. —pantheistic, adj. patrolatry the worship of the Church Fathers. piosity ostentatious piety; sanctimoniousness. pneumatology the doctrine or theory of spiritual beings. —pneumatologist, n. —pneumatologic, pneumatological, adj. polemics the study of the history of ecclesiastical disputes. priestism a derogatory term for the practices and beliefs of priests or the priesthood. prophetism 1. the behavior of a prophet or prophets. 2. the philosophical system of the Hebrew prophets. Rastafarianism the religious beliefs of a West Indian sect who worship the late Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie (given name: Ras Tafari), and who believe that black people are the chosen of God, and that their promised land is Africa. Their use of marijuana in rituals was widely publicized. recusance recusancy. —recusant, adj. recusancy resistance to authority or refusal to conform, especially in religious matters, used of English Catholics who refuse to attend the services of the Church of England. Also called recusance. —recusant, n., adj. regeneracy the act or quality of being renewed, reformed, or reborn, especially in a spiritual rebirth. —regenerate, adj. religionism the strict adherence and devotion to religion. —religionist, n. —religionary, adj. reliquism the worship of relics. reunionism advocacy of the reunion of the Anglican and Catholic churches. —reunionist, n. —reunionistic, adj. revelationist a person who believes in divine revelation or revealed religion. Rosicrucianism the principles, institutions, or practices of the Rosicrucian Order, especially claims to various forms of occult knowledge and power, and esoteric religious practices. —Rosicrucian, n., adj. Sabianism, Sabaeanism, Sabeanism the religious system of the Sabians, a group, according to the Koran, entitled to Muslim religious toleration. They have been associated with the Mandeans, who claim direct descent from the followers of John the Baptist. See also astronomy. Samaritanism the religious doctrines of the Samaritans. Satanophany the appearance of Satan on earth. schism a division especially peculiar to a Christian church or a religious body. —schismatic, n. —schismatical, adj. Scientology the doctrines and beliefs of a religious movement founded in the mid-20th century by L. Ron Hubbard, especially an emphasis upon man’s immortal spirit, reincarnation, and an extrascientific method of psychotherapy (dianetics). —Scientologist, n., adj. secularism 1. a view that religion and religious considerations should be ignored or excluded from social and political matters. 2. an ethical system asserting that moral judgments should be made without reference to religious doctrine, as reward or punishment in an afterlife. —secularist, n., adj. —secularistic, adj. seraphicism the simulation of religious, “seraphic” ecstasy. sermonist 1. a person who delivers sermons. 2. a person who adopts a preaching attitude. sermonology 1. the act of delivering a sermon. 2. sermons taken collectively. shamanism 1. the tenets of the primitive religion of northern Asia, especially a belief in powerful spirits who can be influenced only by shamans in their double capacity of priest and doctor. 2. any similar religion, as among American Indians. —shamanist, n. —shamanistic, adj. Shintoism the doctrines and practices of Shinto, the native religion of Japan, especially its system of nature and ancestor worship. —Shinto, n., adj. —Shintoistic, adj. simonism the practices of simony, especially the making of a profit out of sacred things. —simonist, n. —simoniac, n., adj. —simoniacal, adj. Taoism 1. a philosophical system evolved by Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu, especially its advocacy of a simple and natural life and of noninterference with the course of natural events in order to have a happy existence in harmony with the Tao. 2. a popular Chinese religion, purporting to be based on the principles of Lao-tzu, but actually an eclectic polytheism characterized by superstition, alchemy, divination, and magic. Also called Hsüan Chiao. theocracy a system of government in which a deity is considered the civil ruler. Also called thearchy. theology the study of God and His relationship to the universe. —theologist, n. —theological, adj. theomania a religious ecstasy in which the devotee believes that he is the deity. theomorphism the state or condition of being formed in the image or likeness of God. —theomorphic, adj. theophany a manifestation or appearance of God or a god to man. —theophanic, theophanous, adj. theophilanthropism the doctrines or tenets of a deistic society in post-Revolutionary Paris that hoped to replace the outlawed Christian religion with a new religion based on belief in God, the immortality of the soul, and personal virtue. —theophilanthropist, n. —theophilanthropic, adj. Theosophism the belief that knowledge not accessible to empirical study can be gained through direct contact with the divine principle. —Theosophist, n. —Theosophic, Theosophical, adj. theotherapy treatment of illness or disease by prayer and other religious exercises. —theotherapist, n. Therapeutism the beliefs and practices of the Therapeutae, a Jewish mystical sect in Egypt during the 1st century A.D. Turkism Obsolete, the religion of the Turks, i.e., Islam. Vaudism the principles of the Vaudois or Waldenses, who did not acknowledge the primacy of the Pope. —Waldensian, adj. Wahhabism the religious system of the Wahhabi, a Muslim order founded by Muhammad Ibn-Abdul Wahhab. whoredom Bible. the worship of idols instead of God; idolatry. Zombism the Kongo and Kimbundu system of religion, characterized by worship of a snake deity during voodoo rites. Zoroastrianism the doctrines and practices of a dualistic Iranian religion, especially the existence of a supreme deity, Ahura Mazda, and belief in a cosmic struggle between a spirit of good and light and a spirit of evil and darkness. Also called Zoroastrism, Zarathustrism, Mazdaism. —Zoroastrian, n., adj.
- The belief in and worship of a supernatural controlling power, especially a personal god or gods.
- My brother tends to value religion, but my sister not as much.
- A particular system of faith and worship.
- Islam is a major religion in parts of Asia and Africa.
- Eckankar is a new religion but Zoroastrianism is an old religion.
- The way of life committed to by monks and nuns.
- The monk entered religion when he was 20 years of age.
- Any practice that someone or some group is seriously devoted to.
- At this point, Star Trek has really become a religion.
Generally speaking, certain groups that do not acknowledge the existence of one or more deities, such as Buddhism, are still religious—though some people prefer a definition of religion without non-theistic groups within the definition. Others are in favor of a more inclusive definition of religion that recognizes that everyone has their own set of religious beliefs.
From religiōn-, the stem of the Latin religiō (“scrupulousness”, “pious misgivings”, “superstition”, “conscientiousness”, “sanctity”, “an object of veneration”, “cult-observance”, “reverence”), from relegō (“I bind back or behind”), from re- + legō (“I choose, select; collect, gather”).