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Definition of Church

Church (?), 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. &?; the Lord's house, fr. &?; concerning a master or lord, fr. &?; master, lord, fr. &?; power, might; akin to Skr. çūra hero, Zend. çura strong, OIr. caur, cur, hero. Cf. Kirk.]

1. A building set apart for Christian worship.

2. A Jewish or heathen temple. [Obs.] Acts xix. 37.

3. A formally organized body of Christian believers worshiping together. "When they had ordained them elders in every church." Acts xiv. 23.

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.

5. The collective body of Christians.

6. Any body of worshipers; as, the Jewish church; the church of Brahm.

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.

Remember that both church and state are properly the rulers of the people, only because they are their benefactors.

&fist; Church is often used in composition to denote something belonging or relating to the church; as, church authority; church history; church member; church music, etc.

Apostolic church. See under Apostolic. -- Broad church. See Broad Church. -- Catholic or Universalchurch, the whole body of believers in Christ throughout the world. -- Church of England, orEnglish 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(Zoöl.), 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.

Church, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Churched (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Churching.] 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.

- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

  • A house of worship; a building where religious services take place.
  • A religious organization, local or general
          the Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Church
          The church across the street has a service at 10 am.
  • A time of public worship; a worship service
         I'll be there after church.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia

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