Definition of congregation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkäNGɡrəˈɡāSH(ə)n/


1A group of people assembled for religious worship.
Example sentences
  • In the congregation assembled for worship, these two movements meet, and the heavenly angels join the children of God in festal celebration.
  • Now people hop, skip, and jump among religious bodies and congregations, picking and choosing, paying their money and taking their choice.
  • The congregation or assembly does not wait until worship is over before it proclaims the good news.
parishioners, parish, churchgoers, flock, faithful, followers, believers, fellowship, communicants, laity, brethren, membership;
throng, company, assemblage, audience
1.1A group of people regularly attending a particular place of worship: that church took the place of the storefront the congregation had used before the war
More example sentences
  • All around the meeting place are blocks of flats and the congregation regularly does leaflet drops.
  • The core congregation that regularly goes to church is considerably smaller.
  • Bishop Ryan is disappointed at falling Sunday Mass attendances but he recognises that congregations are now attending out of conviction rather than convention.
2A gathering or collection of people, animals, or things: large congregations of birds may cause public harm
More example sentences
  • The mass congregation of these animals is the biggest outside Kenya's Serengeti, and was earlier erroneously believed to be part of a migration.
  • The congregation of roosters gathered for the urgent aviary consultations nod in agreement.
  • If the birds are spreading it to each other, chances are large congregations of birds at a feeder could be infecting each other.
gathering, assembly, flock, swarm, bevy, pack, group, body, crowd, mass, multitude, horde, host, mob, throng
2.1The action of gathering together in a crowd: drought conditions lead to congregation of animals around watering points
More example sentences
  • The cinema house is still basically a social space for mass congregation.
  • This trend in modern suburbia has raised standards, creating more separate rooms in the house, freeing the living room from being a place of congregation for the entire family.
3 (often Congregation) (In the Roman Catholic Church) a permanent committee of the College of Cardinals: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
More example sentences
  • There is, of course, secrecy over these general congregations.
  • All matters of importance are referred to the general congregations, which since 1870 are held in the Vatican.
  • And, of course the cardinals will be in their general congregation.
3.1British (In some universities) a general assembly of resident senior members.
Example sentences
  • The defendants exercise control over the publisher through a committee nominated from the University Congregation and known as ‘The Delegates’.
  • If the Great Congregation was the legislative body of the University, Congregation was the executive body.
  • During the regular quarterly meeting of the University Congregation, two professors debated the merits of the departmental system, one recommending the greatest possible degree of consolidation, while the other argued that interdisciplinary needs could be met by a consolidated catalog and a system of underground book-railways linking the General and departmental libraries.
4A group of people obeying a common religious rule but under less solemn vows than members of the older religious orders: the sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady
More example sentences
  • He sets aside, for the most part, exegetical and systematic theological questions, as well as the subject of priests in religious orders and congregations.
  • All the initiated Sikhs form Panth, whereas all the members of a Sikh congregation form a Sangat or Sikh Sangat.
  • Thus, most Americans are members of a congregation that falls somewhere between these two extremes.
4.1A group of communities within a religious order sharing particular historical or regional links.
Example sentences
  • In this process of mutual support, though, do they in any way create a congregation within the congregation?
  • How can communications equipment be shared fairly by multiple congregations?
  • Many of them wanted to use the lab both as an outreach program for the surrounding community and as a tool for Christian education within the congregation.


Late Middle English: from Latin congregatio(n-), from congregare 'collect (into a flock)' (see congregate).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·gre·ga·tion

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