Definition of god noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɡɒd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡɑːd//
    In the theatre, Religious people, Types of belief
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  1. 1  God [singular] (not used with the) (in Christianity, Islam and Judaism) the being or spirit that is worshipped and is believed to have created the universe Do you believe in God? Good luck and God bless you. the Son of God (= Christ) I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give… (= in a court of law) CollocationsReligionBeing religious believe in God/​Christ/​Allah/​free will/​predestination/​heaven and hell/​an afterlife/​reincarnation be/​become a believer/​an atheist/​an agnostic/​a Christian/​Muslim/​Hindu/​Buddhist, etc. convert to/​practise/ (especially US English) practice a religion/​Buddhism/​Catholicism/​Christianity/​Islam/​Judaism, etc. go to church/(North American English) temple (= the synagogue) go to the local church/​mosque/​synagogue/​gurdwara belong to a church/​a religious community join/​enter the church/​a convent/​a monastery/​a religious sect/​the clergy/​the priesthood praise/​worship/​obey/​serve/​glorify GodCelebrations and ritual attend/​hold/​conduct/​lead a service perform a ceremony/​a rite/​a ritual/​a baptism/​the Hajj/​a mitzvah carry out/​perform a sacred/​burial/​funeral/​fertility/​purification rite go on/​make a pilgrimage celebrate Christmas/​Easter/​Eid/​Ramadan/​Hanukkah/​Passover/​Diwali observe/​break the Sabbath/​a fast/​Ramadan deliver/​preach/​hear a sermon lead/​address the congregation say/​recite a prayer/​blessingReligious texts and ideas preach/​proclaim/​spread the word of God/​the Gospel/​the message of Islam study/​follow the dharma/​the teachings of Buddha read/​study/​understand/​interpret scripture/​the Bible/​the Koran/​the gospel/​the Torah be based on/​derive from divine revelation commit/​consider something heresy/​sacrilegeReligious belief and experience seek/​find/​gain enlightenment/​wisdom strengthen/​lose your faith keep/​practise/​practice/​abandon the faith save/​purify/​lose your soul obey/​follow/​keep/​break/​violate a commandment/​Islamic law/​Jewish law be/​accept/​do God’s will receive/​experience divine grace achieve/​attain enlightenment/​salvation/​nirvana undergo a conversion/​rebirth/​reincarnation hear/​answer a prayer commit/​confess/​forgive a sin do/​perform penance See related entries: Religious people, Types of belief
  2. 2  [countable] (in some religions) a being or spirit who is believed to have power over a particular part of nature or who is believed to represent a particular quality Mars was the Roman god of war. the rain god Greek gods see also goddess See related entries: Religious people, Types of belief
  3. 3[countable] a person who is loved or admired very much by other people To her fans she's a god. see also goddess
  4. 4[countable] something to which too much importance or attention is given Money is his god.
  5. 5the gods [plural] (British English, informal) the seats that are high up at the back of a theatre We could only afford to sit in the gods. See related entries: In the theatre
  6. Word OriginOld English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch god and German Gott.Extra examples Do you believe in God? He has given up drinking and found God. He saw the accident as the will of God. Muslims have only one God. Nothing ever shook her faith in God. The Romans had many gods. The people worshipped pagan gods. the Jewish God the Roman god of war those who follow false gods To her fans she’s a god.Idioms (law) an event caused by natural forces beyond human control, such as a storm, a flood or an earthquake See related entries: Natural disasters (old-fashioned, informal) used to emphasize a feeling of determination or surprise Some people find this use offensive. (old-fashioned, informal) used when you are expressing anger and the fact that you are impatient For the love of God, tell me what he said!
    God, God almighty, God in heaven, good God, my God, oh (dear) God
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     (informal) used to emphasize what you are saying when you are surprised, shocked or annoyed God, what a stupid thing to do! Some people find this use offensive.
    used when you are leaving somebody, to say that you hope they will be safe, etc. Goodnight, God bless.
    God/Heaven forbid (that…)
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    (informal) used to say that you hope that something will not happen ‘Maybe you'll end up as a lawyer, like me.’ ‘God forbid!’ Some people find this use offensive.
    God/Heaven help somebody
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    (informal) used to say that you are afraid somebody will be in danger or that something bad will happen to them God help us if this doesn't work. Some people find this use offensive.
      God/goodness/Heaven knows (informal)
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    1. 1  used to emphasize that you do not know something God knows what else they might find. ‘Where are they?’ ‘Goodness knows.’ Some people may find the use of God knows offensive.
    2. 2used to emphasize the truth of what you are saying She ought to pass the exam—goodness knows she's been working hard enough.
    God rest his/her soul, God rest him/her
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    (old-fashioned, informal) used to show respect when you are talking about somebody who is dead
    God’s gift (to somebody/something)
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    (ironic) a person who thinks that they are particularly good at something or who thinks that somebody will find them particularly attractive He seems to think he's God's gift to women.
    (informal) used to say that you hope that things will happen as you have planned and that there will be no problems I'll be back next week, God willing. used to emphasize that what you are saying is true Honest to God, Mary, I'm not joking. Some people find this use offensive.
    in God’s/Heaven’s name, in the name of God/Heaven
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    used especially in questions to show that you are angry, surprised or shocked What in God's name was that noise? Where in the name of Heaven have you been?
    if the result of something is in the lap of the gods, you do not know what will happen because it depends on luck or things you cannot control (old-fashioned, formal) a religious man, especially a priest or a clergyman to behave as if you control events or other people’s lives It is unfair to ask doctors to play God and end someone's life. used to say that you very much hope or wish that something will happen Please God, don't let him be dead.
    put the fear of God into somebody
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    to make somebody very frightened, especially in order to make them do something See related entries: Fear
    used to swear that what you are saying is true, especially in a court of law
    thank God/goodness/heaven(s) (for something)
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     used to say that you are pleased about something Thank God you're safe! ‘Thank goodness for that!’ she said with a sigh of relief. Thanks heavens I’ve found my keys. Some people find the phrase thank God offensive.
    there but for the grace of God (go I)
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    (saying) used to say that you could easily have been in the same difficult or unpleasant situation that somebody else is in
    used after a verb to emphasize a particular hope, wish, etc. I wish to God you'd learn to pay attention! Some people find this use offensive. (old-fashioned, informal) used to show surprise, lack of belief, etc.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: god