see also: Church
  • (RP) IPA: /t͡ʃɜːt͡ʃ/
  • (America) IPA: /t͡ʃɝt͡ʃ/


  1. (countable) A Christian house of worship; a building where Christian religious services take place. [from 9th c.]
    There is a lovely little church in the valley.
    This building used to be a church before being converted into a library.
  2. Christians collectively seen as a single spiritual community; Christianity. [from 9th c.]
    These worshippers make up the Church of Christ.
    • Acts 20:28, New International Version:
      Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
  3. (countable) A local group of people who follow the same Christian religious beliefs, local or general. [from 9th c.]
  4. (countable) A particular denomination of Christianity. [from 9th c.]
    The Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534.
  5. (uncountable, countable, as bare noun) Christian worship held at a church; service. [from 10th c.]
  6. (uncountable) Organized religion in general or a specific religion considered as a political institution.
    Many constitutions enshrine the separation of church and state.
  7. (informal) Any religious group. [from 16th c.]
    She goes to a Wiccan church down the road.
  8. (obsolete) Assembly.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: це́рковь
Translations Verb

church (churches, present participle churching; past and past participle churched)

  1. (transitive, now historical) To conduct a religious service for (a woman after childbirth, or a newly married couple). [from 15th c.]
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, [;view=fulltext chapter Tercium], in Le Morte Darthur, book XI:
      Thenne after this lady was delyuerd and chirched / there came a knyghte vnto her / his name was sire Bromel la pleche / the whiche was a grete lord and he hadde loued that lady longe / and he euermore desyred her to wedde her / and soo by no meane she coude putte hym of
    • 1971, Keith Thomas (historian), Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, page 36:
      Nor did it [the Church] accept that the woman should stay indoors until she had been churched.
  2. (transitive) To educate someone religiously, as in in a church.

Proper noun
  1. Surname
  2. (used with "the") A specific church (Christian religious denomination), such as the Church of England or the Catholic Church.
    • Catechism of the Catholic Church:
      Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."
  3. A village near Accrington in Lancashire, England.

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