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

Phrases

  • get religion

    • informal Be converted to religious belief and practices.

      • ‘Billboards used to ask us to get religion and go to ‘the church of [our] choice.’’
      • ‘Others got religion or turned to booze as a way of salving their incurable ache for space.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘To her, though, it will always be the place where she got religion.’
      • ‘They got religion, and they're going crazy and that's great.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many people in rehab, and in defeat, get religion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’

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/