Definition of church in English:



  • 1A building used for public Christian worship.

    ‘the church was largely rebuilt at the end of the 15th century’
    ‘some people go to church every Sunday’
    ‘after church we went to a restaurant’
    in names ‘St Luke's Church’
    • ‘From the top, we can see mosques, churches and synagogues and graveyard after graveyard.’
    • ‘Two practices important to Christian worship usually take place in churches.’
    • ‘Gothic churches and cathedrals were fundamentally different to Norman buildings.’
    • ‘An air ambulance was also called and landed in the grounds of nearby All Saints' Church.’
    • ‘The churches and cathedrals built by the Normans tended to use large stones.’
    • ‘Both services will take place at Melbourne Road Methodist Church in Deane on Sunday.’
    • ‘The Regent Singers will be in concert at Stricklandgate Methodist Church on Friday.’
    • ‘All three churches are listed as buildings of historic or architectural interest.’
    • ‘There were no attacks on churches or mosques during the period covered by the report.’
    • ‘There will be Mass celebrated on this date at 3pm, in the Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Dublin.’
    • ‘Flagstones from churches and chapels in the South Wales valleys have become a target for thieves.’
    • ‘The bells of Catholic and Protestant churches rang out across Germany at noon.’
    • ‘It used to be assumed that the only buildings the Anglo-Saxons made of stone were churches.’
    • ‘Early Christian churches had no pulpits other than the ambos where scriptures could be read.’
    • ‘In addition, I was privileged to preach in several other churches in the Manila area.’
    • ‘Many churches built today combine traditional and modern architectural styles.’
    • ‘Many evangelical churches had windows smashed and walls daubed with offensive graffiti.’
    • ‘After leaving Perth he was a priest at the Anglican Church of St Augustine at Bulli in New South Wales.’
    • ‘Churchgoers have welcomed a new team rector to Anglican churches in Bacup and Stacksteads.’
    • ‘The funeral will be held on Wednesday at noon at St Mary's Church, Riddlesden.’
    house of god, the lord's house, house of prayer
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    1. 1.1 A particular Christian organization with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines.
      ‘the Church of England’
      • ‘It's a minority Church also in the north of Ireland where most Protestants are Presbyterians.’
      • ‘The Adventist Church is not a bad institution.’
      • ‘He was a Protestant who didn't belong to the Anglican Church.’
      • ‘Let me be a force for you in my life, my Church, my Community, my City, and my Country!’
      • ‘An example would be An Australian Prayer Book, which is used in the Anglican Church.’
      • ‘The Eastern Orthodox Church plays a central role in Greek life.’
      • ‘The sign of entrance into the Church is the Sacrament of Baptism.’
      • ‘The Religious Society of Friends and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland declined to join.’
      • ‘He joined the Russian Orthodox Church in 1978, and his music has focused increasingly on the spiritual, liturgical aspects of his chosen faith.’
      • ‘At the start all faculty and board were members of the Christian Reformed Church.’
      • ‘Most of the population belongs to one of four main churches: the Church of England, the Presbyterian Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Methodist Church.’
      • ‘No religious issues in the nuclear family because my aunt joined the Catholic Church in order to marry my uncle.’
      denomination, sect, creed
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    2. 1.2the Church The hierarchy of clergy within a particular Christian Church.
      ‘Isobel would enter the Church as a deacon’
      • ‘The Church has to set an example to the public by healing such an internal conflict without sacrificing lives.’
      • ‘The tradition amongst the land-owning aristocracy was that the eldest son inherited everything, while their brothers were expected to go into the Church or the army.’
      • ‘There is no place in the life of the Church or the Christian for such participation.’
      • ‘Even in the twentieth century entering your son for the Church was still regarded as a means of ensuring that he received a good education.’
      • ‘The Church has no choice but to act - and to be be seen to act - in such circumstances.’
      • ‘Another brother, Henry (1613 - 1700), entered the Church and became chaplain to the Duke of York.’
      religious group, sect, church, cult, movement, faith community, body, persuasion, religious persuasion, communion, order, fraternity, brotherhood, sisterhood, school
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    3. 1.3mass noun Institutionalized religion as a political or social force.
      ‘the separation of church and state’
      • ‘You will have to trash every concept of church and ministry that you have heard and seen all your life.’
      • ‘It will be seen as the strongest case yet made for a complete separation of church and state.’
      • ‘This is a revolutionary shift for a country that was founded on the separation of church and state.’
      • ‘Steve had a strong sense of community and church, serving on many boards and committees.’
      • ‘Freedom of religion and separation of church and state are not the same things.’
      • ‘This was opposed by member states that believe in a rigid separation of church and state.’
      • ‘Many evangelical Protestants also want to erode the separation of church and state.’
      • ‘Perhaps as a society we dislike to gaze analytically on our communal icons of church and family.’
      • ‘The Spanish announcement will do little to improve relations between politicians and church.’
      • ‘She was a keen letter writer, an avid reader and biblical student, and was active in church and community.’
      • ‘His arguments lead logically to the principle and practice of separation of church and state.’
      • ‘She was a woman imbued with a deep sense of Christianity and was devoted to her faith and church.’
      • ‘The greatest threat to the separation of church and state can be summed up in one name.’
      • ‘There is an incredible amount of good but I feel a lot of us are too comfortable in our faith and church.’
      • ‘Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our public education system.’
      • ‘John Soames is now an example of the blurring of the line between church and politics.’
      • ‘Unlike some, I see what the French are doing in a favourable light, as a separation of church and state.’
      • ‘After savage wars the European conflict was resolved by a separation of church and state.’
      • ‘Lewis claims that the lack of separation between church and state is the basis for Islamist revolutions.’
      • ‘This clause is the constitutional foundation for the separation of church and state.’


[with object]archaic
  • Take (a woman who has recently given birth) to church for a service of thanksgiving.

    • ‘A group of married women might go together after a christening or a churching.’
    • ‘The presence of these four additional women, all with candles, alongside Mary's human spouse, suggests a connection to the churching ritual, observed by husbands and wives in fifteenth-century Arras.’
    • ‘The rite of churching (originally purification, later just thanksgiving), unenforced but very popular, symbolically marked the end of lying-in.’
    • ‘Further, and counter to popular ideas, churching continued to focus on cleansing the woman's impurity rather than on thanksgiving for a successful birth.’
    • ‘Yet representing Mary's purification ceremony in the guise of the contemporary churching ceremony, well known to local couples, would necessarily have different significance for members of that group.’


Old English cir(i)ce, cyr(i)ce, related to Dutch kerk and German Kirche, based on medieval Greek kurikon, from Greek kuriakon (dōma) ‘Lord's (house)’, from kurios ‘master or lord’. Compare with kirk.