The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information
Wiki: Resources, links, and other information

5 definitions found
 for Church
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Church \Church\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Churched; p. pr. & vb. n.
     To bless according to a prescribed form, or to unite with in
     publicly returning thanks in church, as after deliverance
     from the dangers of childbirth; as, the churching of women.
     [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Church \Church\ (ch[^u]rch), n. [OE. chirche, chireche, cherche,
     Scot. kirk, from AS. circe, cyrice; akin to D. kerk, Icel.
     kirkja, Sw. kyrka, Dan. kirke, G. kirche, OHG. chirihha; all
     fr. Gr. kyriako`n the Lord's house, fr. kyriako`s concerning
     a master or lord, fr. ky`rios master, lord, fr. ky^ros power,
     might; akin to Skr. [,c][=u]ra hero, Zend. [,c]ura strong,
     OIr. caur, cur, hero. Cf. Kirk.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. A building set apart for Christian worship.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. A Jewish or heathen temple. [Obs.] --Acts xix. 37.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. A formally organized body of Christian believers
        worshiping together. "When they had ordained them elders
        in every church." --Acts xiv. 23.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. A body of Christian believers, holding the same creed,
        observing the same rites, and acknowledging the same
        ecclesiastical authority; a denomination; as, the Roman
        Catholic church; the Presbyterian church.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. The collective body of Christians.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. Any body of worshipers; as, the Jewish church; the church
        of Brahm.
        [1913 Webster]
     7. The aggregate of religious influences in a community;
        ecclesiastical influence, authority, etc.; as, to array
        the power of the church against some moral evil.
        [1913 Webster]
              Remember that both church and state are properly the
              rulers of the people, only because they are their
              benefactors.                          --Bulwer.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: Church is often used in composition to denote something
           belonging or relating to the church; as, church
           authority; church history; church member; church music,
           [1913 Webster]
     Apostolic church. See under Apostolic.
     Broad church. See Broad Church.
     Catholic church or Universal church, the whole body of
        believers in Christ throughout the world.
     Church of England, or English church, the Episcopal
        church established and endowed in England by law.
     Church living, a benefice in an established church.
     Church militant. See under Militant.
     Church owl (Zool.), the white owl. See Barn owl.
     Church rate, a tax levied on parishioners for the
        maintenance of the church and its services.
     Church session. See under Session.
     Church triumphant. See under Triumphant.
     Church work, work on, or in behalf of, a church; the work
        of a particular church for the spread of religion.
     Established church, the church maintained by the civil
        authority; a state church.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: one of the groups of Christians who have their own beliefs
           and forms of worship [syn: church, Christian church]
      2: a place for public (especially Christian) worship; "the
         church was empty" [syn: church, church building]
      3: a service conducted in a house of worship; "don't be late for
         church" [syn: church service, church]
      4: the body of people who attend or belong to a particular local
         church; "our church is hosting a picnic next week"
      v 1: perform a special church rite or service for; "church a
           woman after childbirth"

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  97 Moby Thesaurus words for "church":
     Mass, adherents, affiliation, apostleship, bedtime prayer, body,
     branch, call, camp meeting, care of souls, church service,
     churchly, class, communion, community, compline, confession,
     connection, creed, cult, denomination, devotions, disciples,
     divine service, division, duty, evening devotions, evensong,
     exercises, faction, faith, fellowship, followers, group,
     holy orders, house of prayer, ism, lauds, liturgy, matins, meeting,
     morning devotions, night song, none, nones, novena, office,
     offshoot, order, organization, party, pastorage, pastoral care,
     pastorate, persuasion, praise meeting, prayer, prayer meeting,
     prayers, priesthood, priestship, prime, prime song, public worship,
     rabbinate, religious order, revival, revival meeting,
     sacred calling, schism, school, sect, sectarism, segment, service,
     sext, society, spiritual, tabernacle, temple, tent meeting,
     the church, the cloth, the desk, the ministry, the pulpit, tierce,
     undersong, variety, version, vesper, vespers, vigils, vocation,
     watch meeting, watch night, watch-night service

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary :

     Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., "the Lord's
     house"), which was used by ancient authors for the place of
       In the New Testament it is the translation of the Greek word
     ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew _kahal_ of the Old
     Testament, both words meaning simply an assembly, the character
     of which can only be known from the connection in which the word
     is found. There is no clear instance of its being used for a
     place of meeting or of worship, although in post-apostolic times
     it early received this meaning. Nor is this word ever used to
     denote the inhabitants of a country united in the same
     profession, as when we say the "Church of England," the "Church
     of Scotland," etc.
       We find the word ecclesia used in the following senses in the
     New Testament: (1.) It is translated "assembly" in the ordinary
     classical sense (Acts 19:32, 39, 41).
       (2.) It denotes the whole body of the redeemed, all those whom
     the Father has given to Christ, the invisible catholic church
     (Eph. 5:23, 25, 27, 29; Heb. 12:23).
       (3.) A few Christians associated together in observing the
     ordinances of the gospel are an ecclesia (Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15).
       (4.) All the Christians in a particular city, whether they
     assembled together in one place or in several places for
     religious worship, were an ecclesia. Thus all the disciples in
     Antioch, forming several congregations, were one church (Acts
     13:1); so also we read of the "church of God at Corinth" (1 Cor.
     1:2), "the church at Jerusalem" (Acts 8:1), "the church of
     Ephesus" (Rev. 2:1), etc.
       (5.) The whole body of professing Christians throughout the
     world (1 Cor. 15:9; Gal. 1:13; Matt. 16:18) are the church of
       The church visible "consists of all those throughout the world
     that profess the true religion, together with their children."
     It is called "visible" because its members are known and its
     assemblies are public. Here there is a mixture of "wheat and
     chaff," of saints and sinners. "God has commanded his people to
     organize themselves into distinct visible ecclesiastical
     communities, with constitutions, laws, and officers, badges,
     ordinances, and discipline, for the great purpose of giving
     visibility to his kingdom, of making known the gospel of that
     kingdom, and of gathering in all its elect subjects. Each one of
     these distinct organized communities which is faithful to the
     great King is an integral part of the visible church, and all
     together constitute the catholic or universal visible church." A
     credible profession of the true religion constitutes a person a
     member of this church. This is "the kingdom of heaven," whose
     character and progress are set forth in the parables recorded in
     Matt. 13.
       The children of all who thus profess the true religion are
     members of the visible church along with their parents. Children
     are included in every covenant God ever made with man. They go
     along with their parents (Gen. 9:9-17; 12:1-3; 17:7; Ex. 20:5;
     Deut. 29:10-13). Peter, on the day of Pentecost, at the
     beginning of the New Testament dispensation, announces the same
     great principle. "The promise [just as to Abraham and his seed
     the promises were made] is unto you, and to your children" (Acts
     2:38, 39). The children of believing parents are "holy", i.e.,
     are "saints", a title which designates the members of the
     Christian church (1 Cor. 7:14). (See BAPTISM.)
       The church invisible "consists of the whole number of the
     elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under
     Christ, the head thereof." This is a pure society, the church in
     which Christ dwells. It is the body of Christ. it is called
     "invisible" because the greater part of those who constitute it
     are already in heaven or are yet unborn, and also because its
     members still on earth cannot certainly be distinguished. The
     qualifications of membership in it are internal and are hidden.
     It is unseen except by Him who "searches the heart." "The Lord
     knoweth them that are his" (2 Tim. 2:19).
       The church to which the attributes, prerogatives, and promises
     appertaining to Christ's kingdom belong, is a spiritual body
     consisting of all true believers, i.e., the church invisible.
       (1.) Its unity. God has ever had only one church on earth. We
     sometimes speak of the Old Testament Church and of the New
     Testament church, but they are one and the same. The Old
     Testament church was not to be changed but enlarged (Isa.
     49:13-23; 60:1-14). When the Jews are at length restored, they
     will not enter a new church, but will be grafted again into
     "their own olive tree" (Rom. 11:18-24; comp. Eph. 2:11-22). The
     apostles did not set up a new organization. Under their ministry
     disciples were "added" to the "church" already existing (Acts
       (2.) Its universality. It is the "catholic" church; not
     confined to any particular country or outward organization, but
     comprehending all believers throughout the whole world.
       (3.) Its perpetuity. It will continue through all ages to the
     end of the world. It can never be destroyed. It is an
     "everlasting kindgdom."

Questions or comments about this site? Contact webmaster@dict.org