American English

Definition of church noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a building where Christians go to worship a church tower The procession moved into the church. church services
  2. 2[uncountable] a service or services in a church How often do you go to church? They're at church (= attending a church service). They're in church. Church is at 9 o'clock. Topic CollocationsReligionbeing religious believe in God/Christ/Allah/free will/predestination/heaven and hell/an afterlife/reincarnation be/become an agnostic/an atheist/a believer/a Buddhist/Christian/Hindu/Muslim, etc. convert to/practice a religion/Buddhism/Catholicism/Christianity/Islam/Judaism, etc. go to church/temple (= the synagogue) go to the local church/mosque/synagogue belong to a church/a religious community join/enter the Church/a convent/a monastery/the clergy/the priesthood/a religious sect/a cult 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 bar mitzvah/a bat mitzvah carry out/perform a sacred/burial/funeral/fertility/purification rite/the last rites go on/make a pilgrimage celebrate Christmas/Diwali/Easter/Eid/Hanukkah/Passover/Ramadan 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/a message study/follow the dharma/the teachings of Buddha read/study/understand/interpret scripture/the Bible/the Koran/the Gospel/the Torah be based on/derived from divine revelation commit/consider something heresy/sacrilegereligious belief and experience seek/find/gain enlightenment/wisdom strengthen/lose/question your faith keep/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 GrammarschoolWhen a school is being referred to as an institution, you do not need to use the:When do the children finish school?When you are talking about a particular building, the is used:I’ll meet you outside the school.Prison, jail, court, and church work in the same way:Her husband spent three years in prison. She drove by the prison every day.
  3. 3Church [countable] a particular group of Christians the Episcopal Church the Catholic Church the Reformed Churches see also denomination
  4. 4(the) Church [singular] the ministers of the Christian religion; the institution of the Christian religion The Church has a duty to condemn violence. the conflict between Church and State to go into the Church (= to become a Christian minister)
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: church