Definition of denomination in English:

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Pronunciation: /dəˌnäməˈnāSH(ə)n/


1A recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church.
Example sentences
  • The Council is an organisation for Christian churches of all denominations in the city.
  • The main Christian denominations have established fine churches in the town and congregations not only hold services but are involved in community care.
  • The Protestant and Roman Catholic churches are the main Christian denominations.
religious group, sect, cult, movement, body, branch, persuasion, order, school;
1.1A group or branch of any religion: Jewish clergy of all denominations
More example sentences
  • The first three articles in this issue reflect upon components of social action within religious denominations or local congregations.
  • People are people, across denominations and religions.
  • I argue that, in addition to organizational dynamics, the analogy of family relationships may also be fruitful for understanding gender in modern religious denominations.
2The face value of a banknote, coin, or postage stamp: a hundred dollars or so, in small denominations
More example sentences
  • When the Euro was introduced, the denominations of the coins and the banknotes had to create some sort of compromise between the monetary habits of the various European countries.
  • The larger denomination coins and the notes are being spent but the vast majority of opinion regards them as having little spending power.
  • The Central Bank had earlier withdrawn the highest denomination banknote to also stop hoarding.
value, unit, size
2.1The rank of a playing card within a suit, or of a suit relative to others: two cards of the same denomination
More example sentences
  • Within each denomination the cards rank Club, Spade, Heart, Diamond (low).
  • The first player of this team who mentioned the denomination (suit or no trumps) of the contract becomes the declarer.
  • If 2 or more players play discards to a trick that are the same denomination, suits come into play.
3 formal A name or designation, especially one serving to classify a set of things.
Example sentences
  • One of the first denominations it had was Korinthos, but this name would change depending on different invaders and on who was in control of the town at different given periods.
  • Although at first the area received other denominations, this geographical characteristic finally inspired the actual name.
  • Its frame of coconut trees on either side, a title at the top and denomination at the base, is inverted, making it a highly prized specimen.
3.1The action of naming or classifying something: denomination of oneself as a fat woman
More example sentences
  • But sociologists say it is a growing practice, a reflection of how Americans today are less attached to a historical, family denomination.
  • Yes, but, your Honour, this is about denomination or categorisation of offences.
  • The Pixies' originals are masterpieces, but the second disc seems to indicate that they are fragile in that denomination.


Late Middle English (sense 3): from Latin denominatio(n-), from the verb denominare (see denominate). sense 1 dates from the mid 17th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: de·nom·i·na·tion

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