Definition of religion in US English:

religion

noun

  • 1The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

    ‘ideas about the relationship between science and religion’
    • ‘If people believe in religion it means they don't believe in science.’
    • ‘Instead of rewriting history and using religion as a power tool, he would rather that politicians embrace technology.’
    • ‘The freedom to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching encompasses a broad range of acts.’
    • ‘He understood the ideological power of religion as well as its miraculous strength.’
    • ‘Organised religion is based on far more abstract concepts.’
    • ‘He finds no use for organized religion in the life and conduct of intelligent men.’
    • ‘We had been schooled to dismiss them as being objects of religion, ritual and superstition.’
    • ‘On her death bed, his mother confided that she finally understood the power of religion in his life.’
    • ‘Later chapters return to the relationship among religion, politics and power.’
    • ‘Many people today are saying how organised religion does nothing for society, and it helps no one.’
    • ‘Since when has religion and one's personal spiritual belief become the focal point of a candidacy?’
    • ‘But, as Karl Marx put it, religion is also the opiate of the people.’
    • ‘The secularization debate is primarily concerned with the role or power of religion and churches in society.’
    • ‘It is best known, of course, for its extreme views on religion and morality and personal conduct.’
    • ‘While it's true that religion is a deeply personal issue, entertainment is not.’
    • ‘On the other, they say religion has little power to bring peace and harmony to the world.’
    • ‘Bonaparte, however, had never made the mistake of underestimating either the power of religion or the resilience of the Church.’
    • ‘I feel that religion or religious beliefs should not be used as an argument against the rights given to private people.’
    • ‘I am a person for whom religion has never been important in my life, and I am really scared of the power of religion now.’
    • ‘Have westernised intellectuals underestimated the power of religion?’
    faith, belief, divinity, worship, creed, teaching, doctrine, theology
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A particular system of faith and worship.
      ‘the world's great religions’
      • ‘The roots of Japanese mythology are in the Shinto religion, in Taoism and in Zen Buddhism alike.’
      • ‘Church and state are separate today, but Catholicism is the religion of the great majority.’
      • ‘Buddhism is the majority religion there, and a particularly militant strain predominates.’
      • ‘Christianity is the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.’
      • ‘Yet the power of our civic religion lies not in any sanctions it imposes but in the moral sensibility it nurtures.’
      • ‘Is the problem that Judaism is a religion as well as an ethnicity?’
      • ‘They don't see the truth because they come here to impose their religion's power.’
      • ‘The official state religion is Roman Catholicism, but Evangelical Protestant movements are making converts among traditional Catholic believers.’
      • ‘Yet Wicca is a religion, you can't invent it as you go along.’
      • ‘Notice that they converted to Lutheranism, although Catholicism was the majority religion in Vienna and in Austria.’
      • ‘No organized religion preaches murder and hatred of innocent people.’
      • ‘Those who believe in pluralism think that every religion has spiritual power.’
      • ‘Regardless of your religion or personal beliefs, I will always stand against censorship.’
      • ‘Christianity is a liberating religion, and forgiveness of sins is a liberating experience.’
      • ‘Secularism does not reject religion but attempts to bar any single religion from gaining political control.’
      • ‘Hinduism is a complex religion, and there are many paths in it.’
      • ‘Wicca is a nature religion based upon beliefs and rites believed to be rooted in ancient practices.’
      • ‘After having done the study I came to realize that Buddhism is a family religion.’
      • ‘And we did not practice Buddhist or Shinto religions.’
      • ‘Many refused full equality to adherents of minority religions until well into the century.’
      faith, religious belief, religious beliefs, religious persuasion, religious conviction, religious group, faith community, church
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.
      ‘consumerism is the new religion’
      • ‘In this city where rugby is a religion, there is the feeling that Moses has led them to the mountaintop.’
      • ‘This brings up another point: hockey in the BCHL ceases to be a religion and becomes secondary to education.’
      • ‘The consequent pursuit of thinness had become a new religion, she said, and she showed a range of advertisements to support her claims.’
      • ‘We've been told time and again that cricket is a religion in India.’
      • ‘It serves only one master - corporate greed - that is their religion and their power.’
      • ‘The pursuit of eating raw food has become a religion of the nuttier kind.’
      • ‘It's the backdrop because football is considered a religion worldwide and the most viewed game.’
      • ‘Online marketers realize that return on investment is the religion they need to follow.’

Phrases

  • get religion

    • informal Be converted to religious belief and practices.

      • ‘Three lives collide after a car crash: transplant patient/mathematician Sean Penn, grieving mother Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro as an ex-con who got religion.’
      • ‘He knew she'd got religion because she'd said as much, but whatever it was, he hadn't wanted any part of it for himself.’
      • ‘Others got religion or turned to booze as a way of salving their incurable ache for space.’
      • ‘When he got religion, it was framed as a rejection of the rest of his career, and he had to backpedal or move on (depending on how you look at it), before he had a chance to speak to his wider audience again.’
      • ‘Billboards used to ask us to get religion and go to ‘the church of [our] choice.’’
      • ‘He's a fellah I was at school with who was a gardener, but he got religion so keep away from him.’
      • ‘I'm hardly an authority on saints, or irony, but am I right in thinking that, before he got religion, St. Andrew was a Middle Eastern fisherman?’
      • ‘They got religion, and they're going crazy and that's great.’
      • ‘To her, though, it will always be the place where she got religion.’
      • ‘Many people in rehab, and in defeat, get religion.’

Origin

Middle English (originally in the sense ‘life under monastic vows’): from Old French, or from Latin religio(n-) ‘obligation, bond, reverence’, perhaps based on Latin religare ‘to bind’.

Pronunciation

religion

/rəˈlijən//rəˈlɪdʒən/