a building for public Christian worship.
public worship of God or a religious service in such a building:
to attend church regularly.
(sometimes initial capital letter) the whole body of Christian believers; Christendom.
(sometimes initial capital letter) any division of this body professing the same creed and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; a Christian denomination:
the Methodist Church.
that part of the whole Christian body, or of a particular denomination, belonging to the same city, country, nation, etc.
a body of Christians worshipping in a particular building or constituting one congregation:
She is a member of this church.
ecclesiastical organization, power, and affairs, as distinguished from the state:
separation of church and state; The missionary went wherever the church sent him.
the clergy and religious officials of a Christian denomination.
the Christian faith:
a return of intellectuals to the church.
(initial capital letter) the Christian Church before the Reformation.
(initial capital letter) the Roman Catholic Church.
the clerical profession or calling:
After much study and contemplation, he was prepared to enter the church.
a place of public worship of a non-Christian religion.
any non-Christian religious society, organization, or congregation:
the Jewish church.
to conduct or bring to church, especially for special services.
South Midland and Southern U.S. to subject to church discipline.
to perform a church service of thanksgiving for (a woman after childbirth).
Frederick Edwin, 1826–1900, U.S. painter.
People look to the church not to follow the world but to guide it.
Church of England Gets Female Bishops and a Conservative Backlash Nico Hines July 13, 2014
Canceling the conference may actually underscore an obvious divide within the church itself on the topic.
Vatican Cancels Stem-Cell Conference After Scientists Refuse to Be Censored Barbie Latza Nadeau March 28, 2012
She hoped the church, which reinforced her views, would be a good environment for him, he explained.
Beaten By His Church for Being Gay Justin Jones December 15, 2014
Patrick, who is openly gay and escaped the church with Fenner, is coming to their defense.
Beaten By His Church for Being Gay Justin Jones December 15, 2014
Scientology officials denied the accusations, claiming Miscavige never hit a church staffer.
Scientology’s New Face Kim Masters October 26, 2009
Out of the church at that moment, grand air and all, sauntered Peter Blood.
Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
You must propose an examination of his affairs on the part of the church.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 Various
Next, he organized a church with four other men who had come from America.
The Journal of Negro History, Volume 3, 1918 Various
These troubles in the church so powerfully affected them that they withdrew.
The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
The thought of the unity of the church is very prominent in this epistle.
Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren
a building designed for public forms of worship, esp Christian worship
an occasion of public worship
the clergy as distinguished from the laity
(usually capital) institutionalized forms of religion as a political or social force: conflict between Church and State
(usually capital) the collective body of all Christians
(often capital) a particular Christian denomination or group of Christian believers
(often capital) the Christian religion
(in Britain) the practices or doctrines of the Church of England and similar denominations Compare chapel (sense 4b) related adjective ecclesiastical
(Church of England) to bring (someone, esp a woman after childbirth) to church for special ceremonies
(US) to impose church discipline upon
Charlotte. born 1986, Welsh soprano, who made her name with the album Voice of an Angel (1998) when she was 12
Old English cirice, circe “church, public place of worship; Christians collectively,” from West Germanic *kirika (cf. Old Saxon kirika, Old Norse kirkja, Old Frisian zerke, Middle Dutch kerke, Dutch kerk, Old High German kirihha, German Kirche), probably [see note in OED] from Greek kyriake (oikia), kyriakon doma “Lord’s (house),” from kyrios “ruler, lord,” from PIE root *keue- “to swell” (“swollen,” hence “strong, powerful”); see cumulus. Phonetic spelling from c.1200, established by 16c. For vowel evolution, see bury. As an adjective from 1570s.
Greek kyriakon (adj.) “of the Lord” was used of houses of Christian worship since c.300, especially in the East, though it was less common in this sense than ekklesia or basilike. An example of the direct Greek-to-Germanic progress of many Christian words, via the Goths; it probably was used by West Germanic people in their pre-Christian period.
Also picked up by Slavic, probably via Germanic (e.g. Old Church Slavonic criky, Russian cerkov). Finnish kirkko, Estonian kirrik are from Scandinavian. Romance and Celtic languages use variants of Latin ecclesia (e.g. French église, 11c.).
Church-bell was in late Old English. Church-goer is from 1680s. Church key is early 14c.; slang use for “can or bottle opener” is by 1954, probably originally U.S. college student slang. Church-mouse, proverbial in many languages for its poverty, is 1731 in English.
“to bring or lead to church,” mid-14c., from church (n.). Related: Churched.
A group of Christians; church is a biblical word for “assembly.” It can mean any of the following: (1) All Christians, living and dead. (See saints.) (2) All Christians living in the world. (3) One of the large divisions or denominations of Christianity, such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, Methodist Church, or Roman Catholic Church. (4) An individual congregation of Christians meeting in one building; also the building itself.
Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., “the Lord’s house”), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship. In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew _kahal_ of the Old Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character of which can only be known from the connection in which the word is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same profession, as when we say the “Church of England,” the “Church of Scotland,” etc. We find the word ecclesia used in the following senses in the New Testament: (1.) It is translated “assembly” in the ordinary classical sense (Acts 19:32, 39, 41). (2.) It denotes the whole body of the redeemed, all those whom the Father has given to Christ, the invisible catholic church (Eph. 5:23, 25, 27, 29; Heb. 12:23). (3.) A few Christians associated together in observing the ordinances of the gospel are an ecclesia (Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15). (4.) All the Christians in a particular city, whether they assembled together in one place or in several places for religious worship, were an ecclesia. Thus all the disciples in Antioch, forming several congregations, were one church (Acts 13:1); so also we read of the “church of God at Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:2), “the church at Jerusalem” (Acts 8:1), “the church of Ephesus” (Rev. 2:1), etc. (5.) The whole body of professing Christians throughout the world (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Matt. 16:18) are the church of Christ. The church visible “consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children.” It is called “visible” because its members are known and its assemblies are public. Here there is a mixture of “wheat and chaff,” of saints and sinners. “God has commanded his people to organize themselves into distinct visible ecclesiastical communities, with constitutions, laws, and officers, badges, ordinances, and discipline, for the great purpose of giving visibility to his kingdom, of making known the gospel of that kingdom, and of gathering in all its elect subjects. Each one of these distinct organized communities which is faithful to the great King is an integral part of the visible church, and all together constitute the catholic or universal visible church.” A credible profession of the true religion constitutes a person a member of this church. This is “the kingdom of heaven,” whose character and progress are set forth in the parables recorded in Matt. 13. The children of all who thus profess the true religion are members of the visible church along with their parents. Children are included in every covenant God ever made with man. They go along with their parents (Gen. 9:9-17; 12:1-3; 17:7; Ex. 20:5; Deut. 29:10-13). Peter, on the day of Pentecost, at the beginning of the New Testament dispensation, announces the same great principle. “The promise [just as to Abraham and his seed the promises were made] is unto you, and to your children” (Acts 2:38, 39). The children of believing parents are “holy”, i.e., are “saints”, a title which designates the members of the Christian church (1 Cor. 7:14). (See BAPTISM.) The church invisible “consists of the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ, the head thereof.” This is a pure society, the church in which Christ dwells. It is the body of Christ. it is called “invisible” because the greater part of those who constitute it are already in heaven or are yet unborn, and also because its members still on earth cannot certainly be distinguished. The qualifications of membership in it are internal and are hidden. It is unseen except by Him who “searches the heart.” “The Lord knoweth them that are his” (2 Tim. 2:19). The church to which the attributes, prerogatives, and promises appertaining to Christ’s kingdom belong, is a spiritual body consisting of all true believers, i.e., the church invisible. (1.) Its unity. God has ever had only one church on earth. We sometimes speak of the Old Testament Church and of the New Testament church, but they are one and the same. The Old Testament church was not to be changed but enlarged (Isa. 49:13-23; 60:1-14). When the Jews are at length restored, they will not enter a new church, but will be grafted again into “their own olive tree” (Rom. 11:18-24; comp. Eph. 2:11-22). The apostles did not set up a new organization. Under their ministry disciples were “added” to the “church” already existing (Acts 2:47). (2.) Its universality. It is the “catholic” church; not confined to any particular country or outward organization, but comprehending all believers throughout the whole world. (3.) Its perpetuity. It will continue through all ages to the end of the world. It can never be destroyed. It is an “everlasting kindgdom.”
see: poor as a churchmouse
averse to cities and urban locations.
of or relating to a city; municipal: civic problems. of or relating to citizenship; civil: civic duties. of citizens: civic pride. Contemporary Examples Meanwhile, Guatemalan civic groups worry that the presence of U.S. troops could once again stoke repression at home. Guatemala: A Losing Battle in the War on Drugs? Mac Margolis September 15, 2012 […]
of, relating to, or consisting of citizens: civil life; civil society. of the commonwealth or state: civil affairs. of citizens in their ordinary capacity, or of the ordinary life and affairs of citizens, as distinguished from military and ecclesiastical life and affairs. of the citizen as an individual: civil liberty. befitting a citizen: a civil […]
- Anti classical
of, relating to, or characteristic of Greek and Roman antiquity: classical literature; classical languages. conforming to ancient Greek and Roman models in literature or art, or to later systems modeled upon them. marked by classicism: classical simplicity. Music. of, relating to, or constituting the formally and artistically more sophisticated and enduring types of music, as […]