Definition of worship in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈwərSHəp/


1The feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity: the worship of God ancestor worship
More example sentences
  • The cult of spirits, shamanism, and ancestor worship compose the three major parts of traditional Hmong religion.
  • 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.
  • However, the Buddhists adapted their practices to include the Confucian custom of ancestor worship.
devotion, praise, thanksgiving, homage, honor
archaic magnification
1.1The acts or rites that make up a formal expression of reverence for a deity; a religious ceremony or ceremonies: the church was opened for public worship
More example sentences
  • For millions of Hindus in India, religion interweaves private worship, public ritual, and ephemeral art.
  • Do not schedule anything on the retreat except morning and evening worship and meals.
  • People who return from Taize invariably speak of the beauty of the chanted songs that constitute its worship.
service, religious rite, prayer, praise, devotion, religious observance
1.2Adoration or devotion comparable to religious homage, shown toward a person or principle: our society’s worship of teenagers
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Devotion and worship are supposed to be spiritual and other worldly and money should scarcely come into the picture at all.
  • 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.
1.3 archaic Honor given to someone in recognition of their merit.
1.4 [as title] (His/Your Worship) chiefly British 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
More example sentences
  • 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."
  • "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."

verb (worships, worshiping, worshiped; also worships, worshipping, worshipped)

[with object]
1Show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites: the Maya built jungle pyramids to worship their gods
More example sentences
  • Templeton is like a temple for Bedloe, a place of highest reverence where deities are worshipped.
  • The original inhabitants of Oman were pantheists, worshiping various goddesses and gods.
  • The walls of temples were carved with images of Portuguese visitors and Arab traders, of Brahmins honouring the Buddha and Buddhists worshipping Hindu deities.
revere, reverence, venerate, pay homage to, honor, adore, praise, pray to, glorify, exalt, extol;
hold dear, cherish, treasure, esteem, adulate, idolize, deify, hero-worship, lionize, overpraise;
follow, look up to
informal put on a pedestal
formal laud
archaic magnify
1.1Treat (someone or something) with the reverence and adoration appropriate to a deity: she adores her sons and they worship her
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Newcastle's huge support turned out to worship their new legend, but they will need patience before he can blossom
  • Am I doomed for six more years of loving him, putting him on a pedestal, and worshipping him?
1.2 [no object] Take part in a religious ceremony: he went to the cathedral because he chose to worship in a spiritually inspiring building
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Greetings and good wishes were brought by Gordon Darragh, from Windsor Baptist Church, Belfast, where the Wright family had been worshipping.


Old English weorthscipe 'worthiness, acknowledgment of worth' (see worth, -ship).

  • The writings of Alfred the Great, king of Wessex from 871 to 899, are the first source of worship, which is literally ‘worthship’. It initially meant ‘good name, credit’ and ‘dignity, importance’, which survives in your worship, used for a high-ranking person such as a magistrate or mayor. The word was not found in religious contexts until around 1300. Hero-worship originally referred to the ancient worship of heroes such as Hercules, regarded as semi-divine, and often the subject of myths. The historian Thomas Carlyle was partly responsible for the modern sense—his lectures On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History, published in 1841, expounded his view that history is fundamentally the history of great men, who are worshipped as heroes.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: wor·ship

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.