Definition of churchly in US English:



  • Relating to the Christian Church; ecclesiastical.

    ‘views about biblical and churchly authority’
    ‘an exquisite album of churchly, ambient songs’
    • ‘He refused to countenance all the signs of worldly glory and churchly vainglory.’
    • ‘Unlike his brothers, he was a freelance artist with no churchly sinecure to guarantee him income.’
    • ‘Nineteenth-century pietism stressed individual encounters with the divine and denigrated churchly, corporate forms of devotion as Catholic paganizations of the gospel.’
    • ‘Meanwhile on the churchly front, he served as canonical counselor and defender of the first Episcopal women priests irregularly ordained.’
    • ‘His churchly and scholarly contributions were recognized by his election to the moderatorship of the Free Church Federal Council.’
    • ‘Her celibate, churchly brother was charged with guiding her beloved John into the priesthood.’
    • ‘The organ of today is devotional, churchly, vital and filled with tonal charm.’
    • ‘He has wanted to lead theology out of what he perceived as its post-World War II isolationist occupation with purely churchly questions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Our own churchly figurehead stands head and shoulders above most of his ecclesiastical contemporaries and many senior politicians.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘His writing turns surprisingly dry and stiff, describing confessional theology essentially as a debating tournament about churchly forms.’
    priestly, ministerial, clerical, ecclesiastic, prelatic, canonical, parsonical, pastoral
    View synonyms


Old English circlic, cyrclic, from church.