Definition of churchly in English:



  • Relating to the Christian Church; ecclesiastical.

    ‘views about biblical and churchly authority’
    ‘an exquisite album of churchly, ambient songs’
    • ‘The organ of today is devotional, churchly, vital and filled with tonal charm.’
    • ‘That fact alone should arouse our interest: when have any of us found the names of theologians or other such churchly types in a tourist brochure?’
    • ‘Our own churchly figurehead stands head and shoulders above most of his ecclesiastical contemporaries and many senior politicians.’
    • ‘Her celibate, churchly brother was charged with guiding her beloved John into the priesthood.’
    • ‘His churchly and scholarly contributions were recognized by his election to the moderatorship of the Free Church Federal Council.’
    • ‘He refused to countenance all the signs of worldly glory and churchly vainglory.’
    • ‘One of the most interesting puzzles in the sociology of religion is why Americans are so much more religious as well as more churchly than Europeans.’
    • ‘Meanwhile on the churchly front, he served as canonical counselor and defender of the first Episcopal women priests irregularly ordained.’
    • ‘His writing turns surprisingly dry and stiff, describing confessional theology essentially as a debating tournament about churchly forms.’
    • ‘Nineteenth-century pietism stressed individual encounters with the divine and denigrated churchly, corporate forms of devotion as Catholic paganizations of the gospel.’
    • ‘He has wanted to lead theology out of what he perceived as its post-World War II isolationist occupation with purely churchly questions.’
    • ‘Unlike his brothers, he was a freelance artist with no churchly sinecure to guarantee him income.’
    • ‘Once I do get to leave the day job, I usually head to the church job, or do churchly duties at home.’
    • ‘At a time when most Christian music was staid and churchly, they started a Christian rock band that soon was being tapped for a national record deal.’
    • ‘Those of us who appeal to biblical or churchly authority would do well to admit the ways in which our formulations of these appeals differ from our premodern forebears.’
    priestly, ministerial, clerical, ecclesiastic, prelatic, canonical, parsonical, pastoral
    View synonyms


Old English circlic, cyrclic, from church.