Definition of worship in US English:



  • 1The feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.

    ‘the worship of God’
    ‘ancestor worship’
    • ‘Locals relate a lot of good omens to the tree and worship it on religious occasions.’
    • ‘Although the Nama and Damara people do not practice ancestor worship, there are a few direct hints that these animals are related to deceased parents or ancestors.’
    • ‘A mixture of Shinto, Buddhism and ancestor worship has traditionally guided many Japanese martial practices.’
    • ‘Since Buddhism was not seen to be in conflict with the rites of nature worship, it was able to naturally blend in with Shamanism.’
    • ‘However, the Buddhists adapted their practices to include the Confucian custom of ancestor worship.’
    • ‘The cult of spirits, shamanism, and ancestor worship compose the three major parts of traditional Hmong religion.’
    • ‘Although idol worship is not indicated in Sikhism, many Sikhs attend Hindu temples.’
    • ‘Compassion, service, and a concern for justice are the imperative expressions of our divine worship.’
    • ‘The Dani have remained Stone Age farmers who practice ancestor worship and occasionally engage in tribal warfare.’
    • ‘The tradition of using portraits in ancestor worship reflects the faiths, customs, costumes, furniture and the art of painting.’
    • ‘In late eighteenth and nineteenth century Bengal, the worship of Durga acquired meanings other than devotion as well.’
    • ‘Many Central Africans still observe the traditional religion of ancestor worship, or animism.’
    • ‘Few tasks in any society are as sacred as the disposal of the dead, and that is even more true in a society with traditions of ancestor worship and Confucian respect for parents.’
    • ‘The hair used in sheitls originates from India where women allegedly cut their hair during religious rituals involving idol worship.’
    • ‘But then, the further I go in this direction, the more it comes to resemble deity worship and my existing practices.’
    reverence, revering, worshipping, veneration, venerating, adoration, adoring, -olatry, devotion, praise, thanksgiving, praising, praying to, glorification, glorifying, glory, exaltation, exalting, extolment, extolling, homage, respect, honour, honouring, esteem
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    1. 1.1 The acts or rites that make up a formal expression of reverence for a deity; a religious ceremony or ceremonies.
      ‘the church was opened for public worship’
      • ‘Temple building is essential because a temple is necessary for public worship.’
      • ‘The site was first used about 3500 BC and it continued to be a centre for religious ritual worship, drawing pilgrims from across the North, at least until 2500 BC.’
      • ‘A fair number of young people attend worship, religious weddings take place and churches and mosques are being built.’
      • ‘The different pews found there reflect differing forms of worship down the centuries, from high church to non-conformist and back again.’
      • ‘A basic way we can make our work a form of worship is to introduce religious practices into our work routine.’
      • ‘Special religious worship and prayers were offered at the palace before the king and queen shifted residence, media reports said.’
      • ‘At the center of congregational life is worship, religious education, and the arts, the last mainly related to music.’
      • ‘By the spring, churches were open for public worship only in the remotest corners of France, such as the Jura mountains.’
      • ‘The performance of rites of worship must not prejudice public order or public morals.’
      • ‘Do not schedule anything on the retreat except morning and evening worship and meals.’
      • ‘The Minster was probably never seen by ordinary people as their principal place of worship.’
      • ‘Gerstenberger postulates a ‘liturgical corner’ in the house, which was a focus of religious worship.’
      • ‘For millions of Hindus in India, religion interweaves private worship, public ritual, and ephemeral art.’
      • ‘But the Quaker meeting is the only form of Western religion I know that positions silence at the center of public worship.’
      • ‘The replacement of a sacred language with the vernacular in English worship made religious reflection unavoidable.’
      • ‘Senior monks at each monastery perform other ceremonies leading followers in worship and prayer.’
      • ‘People who return from Taize invariably speak of the beauty of the chanted songs that constitute its worship.’
      • ‘Let Us Pray consists of new prayers for public worship by twenty-nine pastors, predominantly Presbyterian.’
      • ‘The European Convention of Human Rights grants rights of religious worship and observance in public and private.’
      • ‘When I was there, we were grateful to have seventy people at our one weekly service of public worship.’
      service, church service, religious rite, religious act, prayer, prayer meeting, praise, devotion, religious observance
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    2. 1.2 Adoration or devotion comparable to religious homage, shown toward a person or principle.
      ‘our society’s worship of teenagers’
      • ‘They also cite concerns about the corrosive effects of the rapidly spreading worship of money, rampant corruption and the widening gap between rich and poor.’
      • ‘To put it bluntly, it is the worship of money that was behind the transactions.’
      • ‘As economic inequalities have deepened during the last several decades, the renewed worship of money has bred temptation at all levels.’
      • ‘Your body is your temple, worship it and respect it.’
      • ‘Devotion and worship are supposed to be spiritual and other worldly and money should scarcely come into the picture at all.’
      • ‘Such benefits, in tandem with fame and adulation that bordered on worship, unsurprisingly fuelled the desire to win at all costs and athletes were not above cheating to do so.’
      • ‘The unveiling of a new vehicle is usually a ceremony of hype, extravagance, and general worship towards the new demigod its manufacturers have created.’
      • ‘I do not use the term in the much-maligned sense of religious nationalism, or worship of the nation-state.’
      • ‘But scholarship demands that one abandon hero worship and employ critical standards and methods.’
      • ‘Each excited an admiration alarmingly like worship.’
      • ‘This episode may, in a way, serve as a good example of the negative consequences of the prevalence of money worship and the loss of moral values.’
      • ‘He wasn't snobby himself but he was the richest guy at Hilton and nothing attracts respect, admiration and worship to a person at a top notch private school than the most green in the place.’
      • ‘That dogmatic worship of relativism can only undermine the principle of any belief worth having, whether religious or secular.’
      • ‘The worship of money and bling is hardly restricted to rappers and athletes.’
      • ‘Sydney has gone for the fast money and fatuous celebrity worship - and suffered for it, writes Steve Cannane.’
      • ‘All so they can make more money off your idol worship of them!’
      • ‘It deals with modern lives, the worship of money and several other issues.’
      • ‘We've all heard this critique: Westerners have replaced spiritual authenticity with the empty worship of money and property.’
      • ‘All religious scripts direct the son to follow, respect, care and worship mothers.’
      • ‘There he and all of his men but one performed a rite of worship to Shu Yu of Tang.’
      admiration, adulation, idolization, deification, lionization, hero-worship
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    3. 1.3archaic Honor given to someone in recognition of their merit.
    4. 1.4His/Your WorshipBritish as title Used in addressing or referring to an important or high-ranking person, especially a magistrate or mayor.
      ‘we were soon joined by His Worship the Mayor’
      • ‘"Nay, sir," cries Dowling, "I would not have your worship think I would, on any account, be guilty of subornation of perjury; but there are two ways of delivering evidence."’
      • ‘Having enjoyed a couple of pre-match drinks, His Worship and a good sized crowd made their way out to the pitch, to see instead of the first team fixture a game between the Bury 3rd XV and a Liverpool St.Helens Development side.’
      • ‘Your Worship," said he, "will, I hope, take it into your consideration that if I had not been honest I might have kept the whole."’


[with object]
  • 1Show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites.

    ‘the Maya built jungle pyramids to worship their gods’
    • ‘The temple at Madurai is one of the few temples in India containing both male and female deities where the Goddess is always worshipped before the Gods.’
    • ‘In fact, this freedom is at the root of the composite nature of Hinduism as they worship many deities.’
    • ‘Shinto is the oldest known Japanese religion, yet it has no founder, no sacred scriptures like the Sutras or the Bible, and no single deity to be worshipped and revered.’
    • ‘Buschbeck explained that Hellenes do not worship the pantheon of 12 gods as deities.’
    • ‘Templeton is like a temple for Bedloe, a place of highest reverence where deities are worshipped.’
    • ‘Here we have a main character, played by Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, wearing Hindu clothing and worshiping the Goddess Kali.’
    • ‘At festivals we decorate and honor her, but we do not worship her in the sense that we worship the Deity.’
    • ‘The books I looked at and bought spoke of people who once worshiped female deities rather than male ones.’
    • ‘In India, the most colourful and elaborate celebrations take part in Bengal, where huge idols of the goddess are worshipped.’
    • ‘The walls of temples were carved with images of Portuguese visitors and Arab traders, of Brahmins honouring the Buddha and Buddhists worshipping Hindu deities.’
    • ‘Most Malaysian Indians are Hindus, and they worship a pantheon of gods.’
    • ‘Along the coast of south India, Hindus tend to worship local deities, most of them female and far down the Hindu hierarchy of divinities.’
    • ‘His paintings, done in earthy colours, depicted men worshiping the kula deva, or clan god, in the form of linear drawings with geometric heads and bodies filled in with lines and triangles.’
    • ‘The original inhabitants of Oman were pantheists, worshiping various goddesses and gods.’
    • ‘The Mother Goddess is worshipped as Durga, but also assumes the form of local ammans, or goddesses, such as Mariamman, who protects against disease.’
    • ‘The ancient world, or the religion that we're talking about, worshipped a pantheon of gods, a gallery of gods.’
    • ‘Visitors to the temple used to worship the deity in the morning and the crowd for the evening ceremony would be meagre.’
    • ‘The ancient Yemenis were polytheistic - they worshiped many different goddesses and gods.’
    • ‘Buddhists strive for a deep insight into the true nature of life and do not worship gods or deities.’
    • ‘Potato deities were worshipped and used for telling the time and treating illness.’
    revere, reverence, venerate, pay homage to, honour, adore, praise, pray to, bow down before, glorify, exalt, extol
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    1. 1.1no object Take part in a religious ceremony.
      ‘he went to the cathedral because he chose to worship in a spiritually inspiring building’
      • ‘He said his aunt was well known in the area where she lived and was a religious woman who worshipped at the Church of the Nazarene.’
      • ‘Many on both left and right find congenial niches in which to worship, focusing their religious lives on the small church rather than the large one.’
      • ‘He was an independent in religion, worshipping at the chapel Bunyan had served, a teetotaller, vegetarian, and a man of austere habits.’
      • ‘Emerson's survey also obtained higher figures when researchers asked individuals if they worshiped in mixed-race congregations.’
      • ‘When J. C. Ryle became the first Bishop of Liverpool in 1880, he and his family worshipped at St Nathaniel's when not engaged elsewhere.’
      • ‘Generations of African-American families have worshiped here, beginning with services held under a brush arbor prior to the Civil War.’
      • ‘A congregation's ritual of eating, learning and worshiping together all lend the theological impetus for continuing such practices in the home.’
      • ‘Ceiling and paint were added to the sanctuary in 1997 so the congregation wasn't worshipping under naked steel roof sheets.’
      • ‘Ask them to bring back suggestions of music that they hear and like when they are worshiping with other congregations or a great ‘theme song’ from a retreat or conference that gets their attention.’
      • ‘They are simply exercising their birthright to worship as they choose.’
      • ‘In the UK, however, all the sects and factions of the religion are free to worship and debate.’
      • ‘Yes, I know that places are made sacred by the celebrations, prayers, and charity of the believers who worship in them.’
      • ‘Slovaks affiliated with the major religions worship in established churches or synagogues.’
      • ‘Each village has its own goddess or Gramadevata, often in the form of an idol worshipped under a sacred tree.’
      • ‘Greetings and good wishes were brought by Gordon Darragh, from Windsor Baptist Church, Belfast, where the Wright family had been worshipping.’
      • ‘May we all therefore learn to worship, and to learn, in spirit and in truth.’
      • ‘Under the law, voucher students can be taught about religion but cannot be forced to pray, worship or profess a religious belief.’
      • ‘They invoked the elements and the ancient Welsh gods who their family had worshipped for millennia.’
      • ‘The names of nearly 2.5 million of the fallen are inscribed here, all of whom are considered to be divine spirits worshiped under Japan's pantheistic Shinto religion.’
      • ‘The Constitution of the United States gives us the legal right to worship as we choose.’
    2. 1.2 Treat (someone or something) with the reverence and adoration appropriate to a deity.
      ‘she adores her sons and they worship her’
      • ‘Mary Torres, of Ratcliffe Street, York, nervously watched the game with her Argentine husband Pablo and four-year-old son Nico, who worships the South American side.’
      • ‘I longed for you, I worshipped you at your feet, come to me my rock star.’
      • ‘If they're willing to abandon their own grandchildren for the sake of worshipping their son's memory, then it's their loss, and let them go.’
      • ‘It was plain to see that he was a total ‘player’ and he didn't like having a girl not worship his august self.’
      • ‘Harriet practically worships Emma, which is the last thing Emma's ego needs.’
      • ‘What we're poking fun at is the kind of people who take a symbol and worship that, which is what happens when people worship celebrity.’
      • ‘Newcastle's huge support turned out to worship their new legend, but they will need patience before he can blossom’
      • ‘I actually went to college with his son Andy, a youth who worshipped the music of Phil Collins rather too much to be completely healthy.’
      • ‘Therefore she absolutely worshipped her son although she had been greatly disappointed in his weak character.’
      • ‘Am I doomed for six more years of loving him, putting him on a pedestal, and worshipping him?’
      • ‘You should be on your knees kissing my feet thanking and worshipping me!’
      • ‘I was asked to appear on covers of art magazines I had once worshipped.’
      • ‘All at once, Rena feels both like turning around to run out the door, and staring at him in frozen admiration - like a person worshipping a piece of art.’
      • ‘In their native countries (Spain and Italy respectively) they were practically worshiped.’


Old English weorthscipe ‘worthiness, acknowledgment of worth’ (see worth, -ship).