Definition of worship in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.

    ‘worship of the Mother Goddess’
    ‘ancestor worship’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 cult of spirits, shamanism, and ancestor worship compose the three major parts of traditional Hmong religion.’
    • ‘The tradition of using portraits in ancestor worship reflects the faiths, customs, costumes, furniture and the art of painting.’
    • ‘Since Buddhism was not seen to be in conflict with the rites of nature worship, it was able to naturally blend in with Shamanism.’
    • ‘Locals relate a lot of good omens to the tree and worship it on religious occasions.’
    • ‘Compassion, service, and a concern for justice are the imperative expressions of our divine worship.’
    • ‘But then, the further I go in this direction, the more it comes to resemble deity worship and my existing practices.’
    • ‘However, the Buddhists adapted their practices to include the Confucian custom of ancestor worship.’
    • ‘The hair used in sheitls originates from India where women allegedly cut their hair during religious rituals involving idol worship.’
    • ‘The Dani have remained Stone Age farmers who practice ancestor worship and occasionally engage in tribal warfare.’
    • ‘In late eighteenth and nineteenth century Bengal, the worship of Durga acquired meanings other than devotion as well.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Religious rites or ceremonies, constituting a formal expression of reverence for a deity.
      ‘the church was opened 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.’
      • ‘Do not schedule anything on the retreat except morning and evening worship and meals.’
      • ‘But the Quaker meeting is the only form of Western religion I know that positions silence at the center of public worship.’
      • ‘A fair number of young people attend worship, religious weddings take place and churches and mosques are being built.’
      • ‘People who return from Taize invariably speak of the beauty of the chanted songs that constitute its worship.’
      • ‘Temple building is essential because a temple is necessary for public worship.’
      • ‘The replacement of a sacred language with the vernacular in English worship made religious reflection unavoidable.’
      • ‘When I was there, we were grateful to have seventy people at our one weekly service 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.’
      • ‘Senior monks at each monastery perform other ceremonies leading followers in worship and prayer.’
      • ‘A basic way we can make our work a form of worship is to introduce religious practices into our work routine.’
      • ‘The Minster was probably never seen by ordinary people as their principal place of worship.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By the spring, churches were open for public worship only in the remotest corners of France, such as the Jura mountains.’
      • ‘Let Us Pray consists of new prayers for public worship by twenty-nine pastors, predominantly Presbyterian.’
      • ‘For millions of Hindus in India, religion interweaves private worship, public ritual, and ephemeral art.’
      • ‘At the center of congregational life is worship, religious education, and the arts, the last mainly related to music.’
      • ‘Gerstenberger postulates a ‘liturgical corner’ in the house, which was a focus of religious worship.’
      • ‘The performance of rites of worship must not prejudice public order or public morals.’
      service, church service, religious rite, religious act, prayer, prayer meeting, praise, devotion, religious observance
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Great admiration or devotion shown towards a person or principle.
      ‘the worship of celebrity and wealth’
      • ‘I do not use the term in the much-maligned sense of religious nationalism, or worship of the nation-state.’
      • ‘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 worship of money and bling is hardly restricted to rappers and athletes.’
      • ‘To put it bluntly, it is the worship of money that was behind the transactions.’
      • ‘That dogmatic worship of relativism can only undermine the principle of any belief worth having, whether religious or secular.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Devotion and worship are supposed to be spiritual and other worldly and money should scarcely come into the picture at all.’
      • ‘Sydney has gone for the fast money and fatuous celebrity worship - and suffered for it, writes Steve Cannane.’
      • ‘There he and all of his men but one performed a rite of worship to Shu Yu of Tang.’
      • ‘All religious scripts direct the son to follow, respect, care and worship mothers.’
      • ‘It deals with modern lives, the worship of money and several other issues.’
      • ‘The unveiling of a new vehicle is usually a ceremony of hype, extravagance, and general worship towards the new demigod its manufacturers have created.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We've all heard this critique: Westerners have replaced spiritual authenticity with the empty worship of money and property.’
      • ‘But scholarship demands that one abandon hero worship and employ critical standards and methods.’
      • ‘All so they can make more money off your idol worship of them!’
      admiration, adulation, idolization, deification, lionization, hero-worship
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3archaic Honour given to someone in recognition of their merit.
  • 2British [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."’


  • 1 Show reverence and adoration for (a deity)

    ‘the Maya built jungle pyramids to worship their 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.’
    • ‘Along the coast of south India, Hindus tend to worship local deities, most of them female and far down the Hindu hierarchy of divinities.’
    • ‘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 original inhabitants of Oman were pantheists, worshiping various goddesses and gods.’
    • ‘Buddhists strive for a deep insight into the true nature of life and do not worship gods or deities.’
    • ‘In fact, this freedom is at the root of the composite nature of Hinduism as they worship many deities.’
    • ‘The ancient world, or the religion that we're talking about, worshipped a pantheon of gods, a gallery of gods.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The ancient Yemenis were polytheistic - they worshiped many different goddesses and gods.’
    • ‘Templeton is like a temple for Bedloe, a place of highest reverence where deities are worshipped.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At festivals we decorate and honor her, but we do not worship her in the sense that we worship the Deity.’
    • ‘Buschbeck explained that Hellenes do not worship the pantheon of 12 gods as deities.’
    • ‘Most Malaysian Indians are Hindus, and they worship a pantheon of gods.’
    • ‘Potato deities were worshipped and used for telling the time and treating illness.’
    • ‘Here we have a main character, played by Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, wearing Hindu clothing and worshiping the Goddess Kali.’
    • ‘Visitors to the temple used to worship the deity in the morning and the crowd for the evening ceremony would be meagre.’
    • ‘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 books I looked at and bought spoke of people who once worshiped female deities rather than male ones.’
    revere, reverence, venerate, pay homage to, honour, adore, praise, pray to, bow down before, glorify, exalt, extol
    be devoted to, dote on, love, hold dear, cherish, treasure, admire, esteem, adulate, idolize, deify, hero-worship, lionize, have a high regard for, hold in high regard, hold in esteem, hold in awe, look up to
    be wild about, put on a pedestal
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object]Take part in a religious ceremony.
      ‘the family worshipped at Trinity Church’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yes, I know that places are made sacred by the celebrations, prayers, and charity of the believers who worship in them.’
      • ‘In the UK, however, all the sects and factions of the religion are free to worship and debate.’
      • ‘Generations of African-American families have worshiped here, beginning with services held under a brush arbor prior to the Civil War.’
      • ‘Emerson's survey also obtained higher figures when researchers asked individuals if they worshiped in mixed-race congregations.’
      • ‘They invoked the elements and the ancient Welsh gods who their family had worshipped for millennia.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ceiling and paint were added to the sanctuary in 1997 so the congregation wasn't worshipping under naked steel roof sheets.’
      • ‘May we all therefore learn to worship, and to learn, in spirit and in truth.’
      • ‘Slovaks affiliated with the major religions worship in established churches or synagogues.’
      • ‘Under the law, voucher students can be taught about religion but cannot be forced to pray, worship or profess a religious belief.’
      • ‘Each village has its own goddess or Gramadevata, often in the form of an idol worshipped under a sacred tree.’
      • ‘They are simply exercising their birthright to worship as they choose.’
      • ‘A congregation's ritual of eating, learning and worshiping together all lend the theological impetus for continuing such practices in the home.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was an independent in religion, worshipping at the chapel Bunyan had served, a teetotaller, vegetarian, and a man of austere habits.’
      • ‘Greetings and good wishes were brought by Gordon Darragh, from Windsor Baptist Church, Belfast, where the Wright family had been worshipping.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Constitution of the United States gives us the legal right to worship as we choose.’
    2. 1.2Feel great admiration or devotion for.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘In their native countries (Spain and Italy respectively) they were practically worshiped.’
      • ‘You should be on your knees kissing my feet thanking and worshipping me!’
      • ‘Harriet practically worships Emma, which is the last thing Emma's ego needs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘I longed for you, I worshipped you at your feet, come to me my rock star.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Newcastle's huge support turned out to worship their new legend, but they will need patience before he can blossom’
      • ‘I was asked to appear on covers of art magazines I had once worshipped.’
      • ‘It was plain to see that he was a total ‘player’ and he didn't like having a girl not worship his august self.’
      • ‘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.’


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