Meaning of church

church

Pronunciation: (chûrch), [key]
— n.
  1. a building for public Christian worship.
  2. public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly.
  3. (sometimes cap.) the whole body of Christian believers; Christendom.
  4. (sometimes cap.) any division of this body professing the same creed and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; a Christian denomination: the Methodist Church.
  5. that part of the whole Christian body, or of a particular denomination, belonging to the same city, country, nation, etc.
  6. a body of Christians worshipping in a particular building or constituting one congregation: She is a member of this church.
  7. ecclesiastical organization, power, and affairs, as distinguished from the state: separation of church and state; The missionary went wherever the church sent him.
  8. the clergy and religious officials of a Christian denomination.
  9. the Christian faith: a return of intellectuals to the church.
  10. (cap.) the Christian Church before the Reformation.
  11. (cap.) the Roman Catholic Church.
  12. the clerical profession or calling: After much study and contemplation, he was prepared to enter the church.
  13. a place of public worship of a non-Christian religion.
  14. any non-Christian religious society, organization, or congregation: the Jewish church.
—v.t.
  1. to conduct or bring to church, esp. for special services.
  2. to subject to church discipline.
  3. to perform a church service of thanksgiving for (a woman after childbirth).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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