Definition of worship in US English:



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

    ‘the worship of God’
    ‘ancestor worship’
    • ‘Compassion, service, and a concern for justice are the imperative expressions of our divine worship.’
    • ‘A mixture of Shinto, Buddhism and ancestor worship has traditionally guided many Japanese martial practices.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In late eighteenth and nineteenth century Bengal, the worship of Durga acquired meanings other than devotion as well.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The tradition of using portraits in ancestor worship reflects the faiths, customs, costumes, furniture and the art of painting.’
    • ‘Locals relate a lot of good omens to the tree and worship it on religious occasions.’
    • ‘The Dani have remained Stone Age farmers who practice ancestor worship and occasionally engage in tribal warfare.’
    • ‘But then, the further I go in this direction, the more it comes to resemble deity worship and my existing practices.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although idol worship is not indicated in Sikhism, many Sikhs attend Hindu temples.’
    • ‘Many Central Africans still observe the traditional religion of ancestor worship, or animism.’
    • ‘Since Buddhism was not seen to be in conflict with the rites of nature worship, it was able to naturally blend in with Shamanism.’
    • ‘The hair used in sheitls originates from India where women allegedly cut their hair during religious rituals involving idol worship.’
    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’
      • ‘At the center of congregational life is worship, religious education, and the arts, the last mainly related to music.’
      • ‘The performance of rites of worship must not prejudice public order or public morals.’
      • ‘Let Us Pray consists of new prayers for public worship by twenty-nine pastors, predominantly Presbyterian.’
      • ‘The replacement of a sacred language with the vernacular in English worship made religious reflection unavoidable.’
      • ‘By the spring, churches were open for public worship only in the remotest corners of France, such as the Jura mountains.’
      • ‘A basic way we can make our work a form of worship is to introduce religious practices into our work routine.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Senior monks at each monastery perform other ceremonies leading followers in worship and prayer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘People who return from Taize invariably speak of the beauty of the chanted songs that constitute its worship.’
      • ‘For millions of Hindus in India, religion interweaves private worship, public ritual, and ephemeral art.’
      • ‘Temple building is essential because a temple is necessary for public worship.’
      • ‘When I was there, we were grateful to have seventy people at our one weekly service of public worship.’
      • ‘Gerstenberger postulates a ‘liturgical corner’ in the house, which was a focus of religious worship.’
      • ‘But the Quaker meeting is the only form of Western religion I know that positions silence at the center of public worship.’
      • ‘The different pews found there reflect differing forms of worship down the centuries, from high church to non-conformist and back again.’
      • ‘Special religious worship and prayers were offered at the palace before the king and queen shifted residence, media reports said.’
      • ‘The European Convention of Human Rights grants rights of religious worship and observance in public and private.’
      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’
      • ‘Sydney has gone for the fast money and fatuous celebrity worship - and suffered for it, writes Steve Cannane.’
      • ‘All religious scripts direct the son to follow, respect, care and worship mothers.’
      • ‘All so they can make more money off your idol worship of them!’
      • ‘There he and all of his men but one performed a rite of worship to Shu Yu of Tang.’
      • ‘Each excited an admiration alarmingly like worship.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Devotion and worship are supposed to be spiritual and other worldly and money should scarcely come into the picture at all.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As economic inequalities have deepened during the last several decades, the renewed worship of money has bred temptation at all levels.’
      • ‘It deals with modern lives, the worship of money and several other issues.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To put it bluntly, it is the worship of money that was behind the transactions.’
      • ‘But scholarship demands that one abandon hero worship and employ critical standards and methods.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Your body is your temple, worship it and respect it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We've all heard this critique: Westerners have replaced spiritual authenticity with the empty worship of money and property.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘"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."’
      • ‘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."’

verbworships, worshipping, worshipped, worshiping, worshiped

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

    ‘the Maya built jungle pyramids to worship their gods’
    • ‘Templeton is like a temple for Bedloe, a place of highest reverence where deities are worshipped.’
    • ‘The Mother Goddess is worshipped as Durga, but also assumes the form of local ammans, or goddesses, such as Mariamman, who protects against disease.’
    • ‘Buddhists strive for a deep insight into the true nature of life and do not worship gods or deities.’
    • ‘Visitors to the temple used to worship the deity in the morning and the crowd for the evening ceremony would be meagre.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Potato deities were worshipped and used for telling the time and treating illness.’
    • ‘The books I looked at and bought spoke of people who once worshiped female deities rather than male ones.’
    • ‘Along the coast of south India, Hindus tend to worship local deities, most of them female and far down the Hindu hierarchy of divinities.’
    • ‘At festivals we decorate and honor her, but we do not worship her in the sense that we worship the Deity.’
    • ‘Most Malaysian Indians are Hindus, and they worship a pantheon of gods.’
    • ‘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 walls of temples were carved with images of Portuguese visitors and Arab traders, of Brahmins honouring the Buddha and Buddhists worshipping Hindu deities.’
    • ‘The ancient Yemenis were polytheistic - they worshiped many different goddesses and gods.’
    • ‘Buschbeck explained that Hellenes do not worship the pantheon of 12 gods as deities.’
    • ‘The original inhabitants of Oman were pantheists, worshiping various goddesses and 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 India, the most colourful and elaborate celebrations take part in Bengal, where huge idols of the goddess are worshipped.’
    • ‘Here we have a main character, played by Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, wearing Hindu clothing and worshiping the Goddess Kali.’
    • ‘The ancient world, or the religion that we're talking about, worshipped a pantheon of gods, a gallery of gods.’
    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’
      • ‘Generations of African-American families have worshiped here, beginning with services held under a brush arbor prior to the Civil War.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘May we all therefore learn to worship, and to learn, in spirit and in truth.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Emerson's survey also obtained higher figures when researchers asked individuals if they worshiped in mixed-race congregations.’
      • ‘Under the law, voucher students can be taught about religion but cannot be forced to pray, worship or profess a religious belief.’
      • ‘Ceiling and paint were added to the sanctuary in 1997 so the congregation wasn't worshipping under naked steel roof sheets.’
      • ‘In the UK, however, all the sects and factions of the religion are free to worship and debate.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A congregation's ritual of eating, learning and worshiping together all lend the theological impetus for continuing such practices in the home.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are simply exercising their birthright to worship as they choose.’
      • ‘Greetings and good wishes were brought by Gordon Darragh, from Windsor Baptist Church, Belfast, where the Wright family had been worshipping.’
      • ‘They invoked the elements and the ancient Welsh gods who their family had worshipped for millennia.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Constitution of the United States gives us the legal right to worship as we choose.’
      • ‘He was an independent in religion, worshipping at the chapel Bunyan had served, a teetotaller, vegetarian, and a man of austere habits.’
    2. 1.2 Treat (someone or something) with the reverence and adoration appropriate to a deity.
      ‘she adores her sons and they worship her’
      • ‘Harriet practically worships Emma, which is the last thing Emma's ego needs.’
      • ‘Therefore she absolutely worshipped her son although she had been greatly disappointed in his weak character.’
      • ‘Newcastle's huge support turned out to worship their new legend, but they will need patience before he can blossom’
      • ‘Am I doomed for six more years of loving him, putting him on a pedestal, and worshipping him?’
      • ‘In their native countries (Spain and Italy respectively) they were practically worshiped.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I was asked to appear on covers of art magazines I had once worshipped.’
      • ‘You should be on your knees kissing my feet thanking and worshipping me!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I longed for you, I worshipped you at your feet, come to me my rock star.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was plain to see that he was a total ‘player’ and he didn't like having a girl not worship his august self.’
      • ‘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.’


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