Definition of church in English:

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Pronunciation: /CHərCH/


1A building used for public Christian worship: they came to church with me
More example sentences
  • In addition, I was privileged to preach in several other churches in the Manila area.
  • The bells of Catholic and Protestant churches rang out across Germany at noon.
  • Two practices important to Christian worship usually take place in churches.
place of worship, house of God, house of worship;
cathedral, abbey, chapel, basilica;
synagogue, mosque
1.1 (usually Church) A particular Christian organization, typically one with its own clergy, buildings, and distinctive doctrines: the Church of England
More example sentences
  • The Religious Society of Friends and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland declined to join.
  • An example would be An Australian Prayer Book, which is used in the Anglican Church.
  • Let me be a force for you in my life, my Church, my Community, my City, and my Country!
denomination, ecclesial community;
creed, faith
1.2 (the Church) The hierarchy of clergy of a Christian organization, especially the Roman Catholic Church or the Church of England.
Example sentences
  • There is no place in the life of the Church or the Christian for such participation.
  • The Church has to set an example to the public by healing such an internal conflict without sacrificing lives.
  • The Church has no choice but to act - and to be be seen to act - in such circumstances.
1.3Institutionalized religion as a political or social force: the separation of church and state
More example sentences
  • Freedom of religion and separation of church and state are not the same things.
  • Many evangelical Protestants also want to erode the separation of church and state.
  • After savage wars the European conflict was resolved by a separation of church and state.


[with object] archaic
Take (a woman who has recently given birth) to church for a service of thanksgiving.
Example sentences
  • The presence of these four additional women, all with candles, alongside Mary's human spouse, suggests a connection to the churching ritual, observed by husbands and wives in fifteenth-century Arras.
  • A group of married women might go together after a christening or a churching.
  • The rite of churching (originally purification, later just thanksgiving), unenforced but very popular, symbolically marked the end of lying-in.


Old English cir(i)ce, cyr(i)ce, related to Dutch kerk and German Kirche, based on medieval Greek kurikon, from Greek kuriakon (dōma) 'Lord's (house)', from kurios 'master or lord'. Compare with kirk.

  • The Old English word church, then spelled circe or cirice, is related to German Kirche, Dutch kerk, and Scots kirk (Middle English). The source of all these words is medieval Greek kurikon, from Greek kuriakon dōma, ‘Lord's house’, based on kurios ‘master or lord’.

Words that rhyme with church

besmirch, birch, lurch, perch, search, smirch

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: church

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